Actions

Work Header

Letters from Sussex - Draft

Chapter Text

20/06/15

John,

I suspect that the contents of this letter will surprise you.  If they're unwelcome, then I hope you will forgive me, that you will count it as just one more horrible misstep in a long line of errors I have made when it comes to you and me.

If you knew how many times over the last six months I have sat down to write these words, how many drafts, how many deleted Word documents, crumpled and burned scraps of paper I have gone through to finally get this letter to you, I think that you would forgive me any bumbling.  I am quite hopeless at these things, you see.  Well--you know that well enough by now.  But, by your own admission I am your best friend, and you are mine, and I hope that is enough to carry us through if this all goes wrong.

And so I’ll just jump to it, shall I?

I want you to come home.  And by home, I mean I want you here, in Friston, with me.  

I know that we didn't part well.  You're angry at me for everything that occurred with Mary, and Moriarty, and my brother.  You're angry that there were things I kept from you, once again, in an admittedly, ill-conceived attempt to keep you safe.  And you are right.  I was wrong.  I shouldn't have lied, shouldn't have kept secrets.  I shouldn't have tried to play the hero.  

I know it is futile to claim that I did it all for you.  That would be a lie.  I didn’t, John.  I didn’t do it all for you.  I did it mostly for me, because the thought of losing you was more than I could bear.  And isn’t that just like life, though, that I’ve learned my lesson too late, and after everything I’ve lost you anyway.

I know London is your great love.  I saw how you used to champ at the bit when we were away in little villages for cases.  You love the hustle and bustle.  You feed off the energy a large metropolis provides.  I know, too, that you have your job and the flat in Acton.  You have a life there.  But, forgive me, John, it seems a very lonely one.

I’ve never known you to be someone who relishes living alone.  I have laid up nights, these last months, thinking of you, alone there in that echoing flat.   You are living with nothing but ghosts, and not very friendly ones either.  

Greg tells me you have stopped meeting him for a pint Fridays.  Molly says she hasn’t had a single text from you since I moved here.  Your sister texts me, now, for news.  I have nothing to tell her.  They are understandably concerned.  They said you did this before—when I was dead.

Truthfully, I am quite alone here, as well.  Yes, there are the beehives to tend (Janine did nothing with them, and they’re in a horrible state), and a garden to try and wrestle back into submission, though I seem to have a brown thumb where that is concerned (I wonder if you might fare better).  There are also, unexpectedly, cases—small, wearisome, domestic-type affairs, but needs must, I suppose.  It is best to make a decent first impression in a new locale, yes?  I’ve helped the elderly Trawlaney sisters track down the lad who has been snatching their prized hens, and the mayor’s wife was exceedingly grateful for my assistance in determining who was thrice weekly decorating the doors of the city hall with graffiti.    

The cases are simple, but distracting enough.  However, they are also exceedingly boring without you here to keep me company and crack jokes at the client’s expense (I admit sometimes I have kept you from meals on cases just because it makes you that much more fractious, and I do love it when your hackles are up).  

I miss you.  Every time I step out the door on a case and you aren't there beside me, every time the bee colony makes some small gain and there's no one to tell, every time I forget how much lamb needs to go into the shepherd's pie.  I miss you constantly.  Do you miss me too?

And this brings me to the other point of this letter.  Or, rather, the main point (yes, I’ve been a coward, and have written all the easy bits first).  I miss you because my life is empty without you in it, John.  I thought you knew that.  Perhaps you do, and it is not enough to motivate you to leave the life you have eked out for yourself there.  If that is the case, then I concede to your choice.  I would not have you unhappy. 

From the moment we met I feel that I have done nothing but lead you from one unhappiness to the next.  Which, believe me, was the very opposite of what I intended.  But I was so taken in, so overwhelmed, so enraptured by you from the very first moment we met, that I was wholly compromised.  I could think of nothing else but having you.  Just with me, John.  Do you understand?  I require nothing but that.  Just you—here—with me.  I dim without you.  I can't think, can't concentrate.

Everything here is sunshine this time of year.  I wake to the sound of birdsong, and the distant whisper of the surf, and I look around the small bedroom I am occupying on the second floor, all golden-lit with morning light (it faces East - most unpractical), and I think of you in London.  And whenever I think of you there, all I see is grey.

Are you happy there?  Truly happy?  I can’t imagine you are.

Come home to me and I can promise you the following:

  1. Cases.
  2. Fine weather, at least in the summer and early autumn months.
  3. A garden that desperately needs your attention.
  4. No body parts in the refrigerator.  I’ve an outbuilding with electricity here, and I’ve put a fridge and freezer there for those purposes.
  5. A dog.  Do you like dogs?  I’ve got a lovely Setter/Lab cross since I’ve come here.  His name is Gladstone.
  6. If you would like a surgery job, then you may have that too.  They are looking for a second GP at the village clinic.
  7. And lastly, me.  However you like, whatever you need, you may have me, John.

You do have me.  You always have—body and soul.

Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

  

 

Chapter Text

25/06/15

John, 

In hindsight the previous letter may not have been the best idea.  Forgive me if I was too forthcoming, too presumptuous.  I hope you are well and happy.  I will admit I am a little worried, as I have not heard from you since the day you received my last letter.  I hope that you will at least write, or text me to let me know that you receive this.

London is getting an unseasonable amount of rain at the moment.  How dull it must be.

The garden here is overrun by weeds.  I attempted to tackle the task of clearing it, but in the end was only able to manage three of the vegetable boxes in the kitchen garden before the sun got the better of me.  You are right.  I should wear a hat and sunscreen.  I had a headache for a full 24 hours, and got a sunburn so severe, I am still struggling to wear clothes.  I have decided to let nature have it’s way with the garden.  Clearly, it is a battle I’m not fit for (much as it pains me to admit).

The bees are faring much better.  I think the hive is well and established now.  I was worried for a week or two that the queen would be rejected, but things seem to be buzzing now (that pun was unforgivable, I know; I’m sorry).

Gladstone is refusing to interact with me.  He had to take a trip to the vet two days ago, for that most unfortunate of surgeries.  Now he sits in the corner by the hearth and glares daggers at me.  He did let me pet his head and scratch behind his ears for a few minutes last night, though.  I think the peace offering of chicken and rice for dinner may have been what did it.  I hope we are making headway.

Oh, and there’s been a suspicious death.  Old Mr. Thornton’s night nurse was found dead in the armchair beside his bed, and according to the local gossips he was young, attractive, and fit as a fiddle.  I may wander down and have a little chat with the local constabulary.  See if they could use some assistance.  My reputation has preceded me, it seems.  They may be amenable to me helping out now and again.

Well, that’s all the news there is here.  I hope this finds you well.

Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   9:34  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I don’t have long to chat, but I wanted to let you know that I got your letter.  I am well.  Please don’t worry about me, or feel that you need to keep corresponding.

Oh, and wear bloody sunscreen.  How many times do I have to tell you?!

 

John

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  9:58 PM

to: John

 

John,

I am glad you are well.  

I don’t feel as though I have to continue corresponding with you.  I want to.  Or was that you attempting to be subtle?  I never can quite tell…  

No.  That’s a lie, and I’ve promised you no more lies.  That was you trying to brush me off, wasn’t it.  Well, if you want me to stop corresponding, then you’ll have to be more clear.

The sunburn is fading, you’ll be pleased to know.  Unfortunately it has been replaced with a series of acid burns, from a rather unfortunate scientific/investigative mishap.  The kitchen table is also rather worse for wear.  I did go to the local surgery to have them tended to, as they were rather more than the first aid kit would handle.

I must say, Dr. Phillips did not take the kind of care I’ve come to expect.  They could desperately use someone with your skill here.

Gladstone is over his sulk.  Though he did make sure to have the last word.  When I got home from the surgery yesterday he had got into my sock index, and not only scattered socks all over the house, but also tried to ingest a few.  Of course, he couldn’t be considerate enough to eat them in pairs.  No!  Had to go and leave me with a half dozen lonely singles.  

He doesn’t seem to like being left on his own.  Is there such a thing as a nanny for dogs?  I think he needs more consistent human companionship.

I’ve been exploring the village a little more, as there’s not much else to do.  There is a lovely tea emporium here.  There was one blend, in particular, that I thought you might like.  I may have to send you some.  Or, perhaps you would rather come for a visit and save me the postage?

Well, I suppose I should go and take my antibiotics and apply another layer of salve.  Take care of yourself, John.  Promise me you’ll do that, at least.

 

Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

03/07/15

 

Sherlock,

I don’t really do this often—write proper letters, I mean.  I think the letters home to Harry while I was deployed to A. was the last time.  Well—the last time I sent anyone a proper letter, I mean.  I’ve written plenty I’ve never sent.

They were all to you.  You were dead.  What did it matter?

And then, suddenly, you weren’t.  

You think I forgave you for that, don’t you.  Well, I didn’t.  I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to forgive you for that, and quite frankly, I don’t know how you can expect me to.  You seem to just assume that I’ll forgive you for anything and everything.  Well, you’re wrong.  I don’t.  I won’t.  That’s finished.  Because, that’s not how friends are with one another, Sherlock.  Friends don’t pretend to be dead for two years, no matter the reason.  Friends don’t make friends watch them jump to their death, skull cracked open like a melon, blood on the pavement, eyes staring blankly, empty, gone…  Friends don’t do that to friends.

Friends don’t keep secrets like the secrets you kept from me about Mary.  Friends don’t fuck up so horribly that they cause the death of their friend's unborn child.  Friends don’t keep their friends in the dark, and they don’t ask their friends to walk into danger’s path on blind faith.  Friends don’t use friends, they don’t manipulate friends.  Friends don’t try to hurt friends by PRETENDING to be dating other people, fucking other people.  

You say you’re mine (Body and soul?  What am I even supposed to do with a declaration like that?!).  But, you’re not mine.  You’re nobody’s, Sherlock, because you don’t let yourself be.  You’re not like that.  You don’t feel things that way.  And besides, people don’t belong to one another like that—not really.  We’re all alone in this, when it really comes down to it, and you’re a fool if you think any differently.

I want you to stop communicating with me.  Just stop.  I don’t want to talk to you, don’t you understand?  I don’t know if I even want to ever see your face again.  Every time I think about everything you’ve done I want to hurt you.  I want to hurt you very badly, and I…  God help me, I care about you too much to want that, really.  So please, for my sake, leave me alone.  Don’t give me anything else to regret.

Do you have any idea how much I hate you?  Do you?  Do you have any idea how much I loved you once?  No.  No, of course you don’t.

But, if you ever had any love of any kind for me, if you were ever my friend, then I am begging you to let me be.

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  1:45 PM

 to: John

 

John,

I’ve changed my mind about Sussex.  Terrible, awful place.  We’ve had nothing but rain for a week, and I’m sick, and Gladstone has pissed all over the bedclothes twice, because getting downstairs to let him out feels like too much, and then he sulks because he feels guilty, and then I feel guilty for not letting him out.  I haven’t even been able to get out and check the bees.  What if the hives have flooded, John?!

I admit, I did go out the first day.  The rains were so heavy on Monday.  But I got drenched to the skin, and I think that perhaps made me even more ill than I was before.  If you were here, no doubt it would have earned me a scolding.  I do miss your scolding sometimes.  But, I knew better, and I’m sorry.  I’m paying for it now, and I suppose it serves me right.  I was just so worried about the colonies.  They’ve gotten so well established this summer, and the winds were high Sunday night.  I was worried the hives may have blown over.  I can’t see them all clearly from the kitchen window due to the overgrown state of the garden.

It is sunny in London now, I see.  I hope you are getting out to the park to enjoy it.  Perhaps you should take a few days off from the surgery and enjoy the lovely weather while you have it?

Oh, and I resolved the case with Mr. Thornton’s night nurse, did I tell you.  Turns out the man was an illegitimate son of Mr. Thornton’s and was trying to blackmail him.  Mr. Thornton wasn’t so helpless after all, it seems.  He was spry and cognisant enough to poison the nurse, at any rate!  Senior citizens these days!  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking that I will probably be still blowing up the kitchen (which really only happened once, John), when I’m that age.  You’re probably right.

Janine came ‘round on Tuesday just to see what I’d done with the place, but I sent her off straight way, again.  No need for her to get sick.  She’s staying in Birling Gap with a bloke she met on some internet dating site.  She brought him along as well.  He seemed acceptable enough.  She was looking well, as always.

Are you well?  I do hope so.  You could send me photographic proof, you know.  I’ve not set eyes on you since January.  You never update your blog anymore.  No one knows what you’re up to.

James Sholto texted me yesterday.  That was a surprise.  He was afraid you’d died.  He’d seen everything on the news about the Moriarty affair, and Mary, and then the blog went dark.  He said he’s been emailing you, but with no response.  He was deathly afraid you’d done yourself some harm.  I assured him, you were alive and well.  You are well, aren’t you John?  

I assume you are attending Greg and Molly’s wedding in October?  I will be coming to London for it.  I hope you don’t mind.  Perhaps we might have a little chat then.  If you would rather I not, I will leave you to yourself.  Just let me know what you prefer.

Well, I’ve rattled on enough.

Don’t keep too much to yourself, John.  People miss you.  I miss you.

 

Yours,

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   7:23  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I’ve decided to take your advice and take a week off from the clinic.  I have things that need doing around the flat, and it might be nice to take in some of the good weather, as you say.

As for Greg and Molly’s wedding—you know they are going to seat us together, right?  I mean there’s no getting around that.  And both of us are going to go, of course, so…  I suppose we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, okay?  

I need to admit something to you.  I’ve read that letter you sent me back in June so many times the paper’s starting to get soft around the edges.  It makes me so angry, and I don’t know why.  I don’t know why it makes me angry, and I don’t know why I keep reading it knowing that it does.  But, I can’t stop.  

You said things in that letter that I had, for many years, hoped you would say.  Back in the old days, before everything fell apart.  You probably didn’t know that, did you.  You didn’t know how much I cared then.  I would have done anything for you.  I would have died for you.  I would have rather died abroad somewhere, working together to take down Moriarty’s network than watch you jump from the roof of Bart’s.  I did die.  I died when you died.  Did you know that?

You miss me?  The thought of losing me is more than you can bear?  You were enraptured (?!!?), and wholly compromised from the moment we met?  You can think of nothing else but having me—with you?  You dim when I’m not there?  I have always had you, body and soul?

How?  How can you really mean any of these things?  

From the moment we met?  No, Sherlock.  No!  You said—you said, ‘married to my work’.  You couldn’t fathom why I would care what people thought of you, or why I would care that Irene was toying with your heart.  You thought that caring for people was a disadvantage.  Hell, you didn’t even notice when I was gone for a week.  I could have up and moved out and you wouldn’t even have noticed for a good month.  I accepted those things about you, because—well, because I didn’t have a choice.  I wanted to be with you, and that is who you are, so I accepted it.

So now you’re saying what?  That all that was a lie, an act?  Why?  I don’t understand any of this, Sherlock.  I need you to explain it to me, okay.  I need you to be completely honest.

I hope you are feeling better.  If not, don’t forget your promise.  I want you off to the clinic tomorrow.  I will call and have a doctor sent to you if I have to!

 

John

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  8:37 PM

to: John

 

John,

Not a lie or act—well, not purposeful.  I find I struggle to understand these feelings myself, so I beg your patience.  I will try to answer your questions the best I can.

The night at Angelo’s—‘married to my work’.  That was a mistake.  

Can you understand what meeting you was like?  It was like a hurricane, a supernova.  It upended and turned my whole life inside-out in seconds.  

I knew the moment you walked into that lab with Mike, that I needed you in my life.  I took one look at you, and I knew.  You probably want to know how.  I don’t know, John.  That’s the honest truth.  I don’t.  It was instinct.  Something bone-deep that hit me right in the gut and stayed there, burning, until you stepped out of the cab and onto the pavement in front of 221b the next day.  

I worked so hard to be everything you wanted, but I never expected you to respond the way you did.  No one ever had before.  You remember what I told you on that cab ride to the crime scene in Brixton, yes?  Most people did just tell me to piss off.  I never expected you to think I was brilliant.  I was still reeling from that.  And then there was dinner, and you fishing about in regards to my relationship status, and I panicked.  I’m not proud to say it.  

You were fishing, weren’t you?  I know you sort of back-pedalled, but I’m usually right about those things.  At any rate, I thought you were, and I panicked.  

Everything about you was amazing.  I didn’t want to ruin it with—well, with whatever nonsense it is people get up to when they’re casually dating another person.  I wanted us to be more than that.  I wanted companionship—a friend.  I wanted someone who would stay.  I needed you to stay, John!

When you showed up in my life, I had just started to really make a life for myself, get out from under my brother’s thumb.  I NEEDED that to work.  I also knew that I wasn’t all that good at going it alone.  I don’t really like people.  You know that, John.  But some people are the exception.  You were an exception, and I wanted you so badly to be the one—the one who would put up with me, the one who would stay.

I understand why you’ve decided to live in London now.  I know I’ve hurt you, and wronged you over, and over.  You used to think I was this brilliant, amazing creature, like something you might see in a museum under glass.  You needed me to be that, I think.  So, now that I’ve turned out to be nothing more than horribly flawed, and hopelessly ordinary, I’ve disappointed you.  

I’ve made mistakes, horrible mistakes.  Those mistakes have ruined your life.  And I wanted to make your life, John, not ruin it.  I wanted to give you everything, and be everything that you’ve ever needed or wanted.  And I’m not.  Maybe I can’t be.  I know I have to find a way to accept that, but nothing has ever been this hard, and I don’t know how to just let you go.

As to your other points, you are right.  I couldn’t understand when you seemed to care what other people thought of me.  It didn’t affect me.  It didn’t even really affect you.  If people wanted to hate me, let them.  

I suppose that was insensitive of me, though.  Because in the end, it was people’s ill opinion that forced me to leave you.  Ah…  I see now.  I see.  I’m sorry, John.  And I am trying to do better.  I have made a real effort here to not alienate myself from the locals.  You would be quite surprised, I think.

You mentioned the woman.  She didn’t toy with my heart, John.  One has to give their heart to someone in order for that person to be able to toy with it, and my heart was never, in any way, hers.  So please, have no concerns on that front.

As for caring being a disadvantage.  It is in many ways.  If I didn’t care for you, for instance, I wouldn’t miss you so now.  If I hadn’t been so desperate to please you, perhaps I would have thought clearer, not made the errors I did with Magnussen and Mary.  If I hadn’t loved my brother as I did, I wouldn’t have been blind to his conflicting allegiances, or so hurt by his perceived betrayal, that I failed to see what was really going on.  

Caring has caused me great disadvantage more than once.  But I still care.  And especially where you are concerned, I’ve decided that there is nothing for it.  It won’t stop.  It won’t go away.  I don’t want it to.  Even if I never see you again, I don’t want to ever stop caring for you.  I don’t ever want to stop thinking about the fact that you thought me your best friend once, that you told me that you loved me most in the world besides your wife.

And John, I always missed you when you were away.  Did I not notice sometimes?  Did I talk to you when you weren’t there?  Yes.  I did.  But, I did because I couldn’t manage with you not there.  I suppose I’d created a you to hang on to when the real you was absent, and sometimes one flowed into the other.  If you were not there, then my mind offered up an illusion that you were.

Those years I was apart from you.  I would not have made it through them without that John.  You lived in my mind palace, safe, unchanged.  And then you had free run of it, and then you became it, until there was nothing there that was not touched by some part of you.  You are tattooed onto my soul.  It’s permanent, and I carry you with me always.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, yes John, I meant every word I said in that letter.  I did.  I still do.  I always will.

 

Ever Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  8:16 PM

to: John

 

John,

I do hope that you didn’t go to the pub alone.  Greg would gladly go with you, or even Bill Murray, I imagine.  I worry, John.  I worry when you drink alone.  You know how you are when you are like this.  You’re itching for a fight.  And there’s no one there to watch your back.

I do hope you’ll text when you get back.  I won’t sleep until you do.

But, the reason for this email: I want to apologise.  I didn’t mean to judge you where Mrs. Hudson was concerned.  I only wondered.  It seemed so unlike you.  

Sometimes she felt more like my mother than my own mother.  You know how that can be.  Some people know us better than our own flesh and blood.  And you were always so kind to her when we were together.  Perhaps a little demanding, a little rude, but so was I, and probably more so.  

But, she doted on you.  Perhaps you didn’t realise that.  She loved you, I think—like a son, and she didn’t understand why you never called.

Is it part and parcel with what you said before, about leaving before people leave you?  I’d left you, and you couldn’t bear any more leaving, so you left everyone else before they had the chance?  If so, then I am partially to blame.

When I told you, all those months ago, that I didn’t realise that my ‘death’ would hurt you the way it did, you were understandably angry.  How could I not know?  You were right.  I should have realised, but the sad truth is, I didn’t.  

If I had known that you would bear the weight of my leaving so heavy on your shoulders, I would have found another way, John.  Believe that.  There has not been a moment’s pleasure in any of that for me.  From the second I truly realised how affected you were, I have not had a minute's reprieve from the regret.

And now, I’m going to say some things that will probably make you angry at me, but I’ve wanted to say them for a very long time, and I think I owe you an explanation.

What do you think those two years away were for me?  Do you imagine it some cliched, and romanticised romp, like those James Bond films you love so much?  It wasn’t.  It was cold, and it was lonely, and there wasn’t a single moment where I didn’t wish you were there with me.  

Many times you were.  

I’ve told you how I carry a version of you in mind.  At first I denied myself the pleasure.  Then, when I finally did weaken, I drown in it like a drug.  In the end, I tried to spread it out.  Only when I was at my most alone, my most desperate, would I indulge.  

It helped to imagine you there when I was on the run.  When my life was in danger, I would ask you what to do.  If the pain during some interrogation or another became to much, I would think of you—just your face, the way your eyelashes curled upward and caught the sunlight when you stood in profile, the way your hands looked beside mine on the seat of a cab, how you would wiggle your toes against the carpet by the hearth, to warm them after getting back from a late-night case.  I would allow myself to be distracted by all the details of you, and it helped immeasurably!

Sometimes at night, sleeping under a clear sky, I would look up, and you were there with me.  I liked to think you were safe in London, seeing the same stars.  I liked to think you were there beside me, too.  And I could sleep then, a little, with your steady breathing, the warmth of you next to me.

Everything is easier when we are together, don’t you find?  That is why I have become a bit of a pest on the topic.  It’s not that I don’t respect your need for space.  It’s just that you are always so much better when you are not alone.  

You only crave space when you are fighting the urge to run—to run from life, to run from those who care about you, to run from yourself.  But, you don’t have to run anymore, John.  There’s a home here for you.  And it’s safe, and it’s warm, and it’s yours.  And you may have as much space as you like, if only you will take it here.

Why do this to yourself?  You want to come home.  So come.

You may spend every day locked in your room with a book.  I will stay out with the bees all day if you want the house to yourself.  Or I will stay in the cottage if you want to be in the garden.  But you will be here, where someone cares enough to see that you are well.  

I have over five years of horrible wrongs to make right.  Let me.  Let me give you this.  

And let me say this.  I am not leaving.  I made you a vow, I intend to spend the rest of my life keeping.  I promised you I would always be there for you.  And I will be.  I’m not leaving.  Not unless you tell me to go.

 

Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   2:37  AM 

to: Sherlock

 

why r you sayin this things?  you  dnt’ kno me.  you think so,, but no.

u do not..

you ar my home.  jus you.  not janine’s house at the beach.  you.  always u…. only…alwsy

and you could have hat me any time. had me…  anytime, you could have Shelrock.  but you didn't want me.

is not my falt I'm like this.  I've been good.  i try.  and then i just want you once, just a little, and i’m punished .alway s my fault. mmine.  my fault. for wanting…  jams.  look at james.  u saw.  my fault.  gemma…  u—that wasn’t ur falt, sherlock, it was mine.  i …

Christ I'm sorry.  So sorry…

Fuck… Ur so beautiful, how do they do it./?  how do they not love you?  everyone .. everyone must love u so much.  u were made fr it—loving.  but not for me.  i rui n  every one i love.  you’ll see.  

always punished.

iii love you soo o much!!!  please.  i need u safe.  don’t

jst don’t luv me.  i love you to much.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   11:58  AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I don’t even know what to say.  I guess starting with a huge apology would be most appropriate.  Christ, I am SO sorry about the email, and the texts last night after I got back from the pub.  I honestly don’t even remember sending them.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I would prefer if you ignored some 99% of what I said.  I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.  I don’t know where any of that came from.

After I finished throwing up this morning, and then drinking a near pot-full of coffee, I checked my phone and wanted to throw up all over again.  I’m sorry.  Really.  Just—please delete however much of that you need to.  You can do that, right, just delete stuff you don’t need?

I guess I also should say, that I’m sorry about the way I went off on you about Mrs. Hudson, yesterday.  It wasn’t fair.  She was like a mother to you, as you say, and it’s only understandable you would be curious and concerned about why I didn’t even so much as drop her a call in two years time.  

But, you have to understand that this is difficult for me—you, like this.  I mean, I knew you were fond of her.  You nearly killed a man for laying a finger on her once.  But this side of you, where you understand and care that her feelings were hurt, that she might have felt lonely and abandoned by me…  I don’t know what to do with that.  I don’t know who you are anymore.

I kind of believe you when you say you would do things differently, now, if you were faced with the kind of situation Moriarty cooked up on the roof of Bart’s all those years ago.  I think I believe that you wouldn’t abandon me like you did then.  Sometimes I think I believe it, and then others, I tell myself to not be a fool.  

You’ve essentially told me, if I’m understanding you correctly, that the you I knew those first 18 months, was different from the you underneath, and that you didn’t show me that other you, because why?  That’s what I don’t get, I guess.  Why?  

I know you don’t like people.  I understand that.  Christ, I hate people most of the time!  That’s why I originally trained to be a surgeon and hate being a GP.  You have to talk to people more often as a GP.  When you’re a surgeon they’re unconscious most of the time.  Much better!  So, I get that, okay.  But, it was me, Sherlock.  Not some client, or some bloke on the street.  It was me, and you’ve said that I was special from the start, so why hide this you (the real you?) from me?  

You need to explain that to me, okay.  Because I think that’s the thing that’s bothering me the most right now.  And—well, to be honest, it’s actually hurting quite a bit too.  It’s like you didn’t trust me.  Why?  

I would have done anything for you.  All I wanted was the slightest indication that you were human, that you might want me as a friend, want me to stay in your life, let me—let me look after you.  And not just the cooking, or making sure that you slept now and again, or tending to your scrapes and bruises.  Not just that.  I wanted you to let me look after you the way a friend looks after a friend.  All that stuff, I find hard to talk about.  You don’t need to talk about it, always, you know.  Sometimes you just need to do it.  But, I never thought it was welcome.  

If I expressed concern that the press might throw you under the bus, then you just brushed me off.  If I tried to make sure you’d eaten, you snap at me to stop fussing.  If I tried to see if you were okay, like with the Adler thing, you just ignored me.  And then you left me, and I knew for sure that I had never been enough, never been anything to you at all.  And the worst of it was, even then, even knowing that I wasn’t enough to keep you wanting to live, I still…  I still loved you, okay.

I couldn’t make it stop.  And it fucked me up.  I was really bad for a really long time.  I hardly remember that first year.  I think I spent most of it at work, or drunk on the couch.  And after a good year and a half of that, Ella started to insist that I should move on.  So I did.  But, I knew it was just getting by.  

Mary showed up then, and she was so fucking good at what she did.  It still makes me sick to think that I was that pathetic, that I was so far gone that I fell for everything she laid out—hook, line and sinker.  But, I needed distraction, and by that point it was either that, or going back to how I was before I met you.  And I couldn’t go back to that.  It would have ended with me putting the muzzle of a gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger. 

So tell me, if you love me so much, why did you never trust me enough to let me see the real you?

Oh, and for the record, you and I should have a proper chat about what really happened out there those two years.  I know it must have been dangerous, working to dismantle Moriarty’s network, but you and I have never really shied away from danger.  I guess I figured that there was an element of enjoyment for you.  

I won’t lie.  It’s nice to know I was missed.  I mean, I’m not relishing in your discomfort, but—well, I guess I’m just glad you missed me.

But, you mentioned some stuff that has me a little concerned, too.  You mentioned ‘the pain from some interrogation or another becoming too much’.  What was that about?!  What else haven’t you told me, huh?  And why haven’t you?

In closing, I’m going to say something you shouldn’t get used to hearing: 

You were right.

Seriously, don’t get used to it.

But, right about what, you’re probably wondering.  Well—when you said I was running, and that’s why I’ve been wanting space.

Yeah, I can own that, I guess.  I am running.  And you know what, I still need that space.  I know I texted last night that I was ready to come home.  I’m not, Sherlock.  But, I’d like to suggest something.  You tell me if it’s okay.

Firstly, I’d like to keep this up—these emails, and letters, and texts.  I’d like to be consistent with it.  Once a day if we can.  I kind of need it, to be honest.  I look forward to it.  So yeah, I would like to keep doing this.

Secondly, when you come to London for Greg and Molly’s wedding in about eight weeks, I’d like you to stay here with me.  Let’s see how it goes, yeah?

After that, we’ll see…

This isn’t about you anymore, Sherlock, okay.  I mean, I’m not staying away because I’m angry at you.  I’m still confused, and I’m still hurt by a lot of things, but you seem to be okay with talking about it all now, and if that continues to be the case, then I think I will get all those questions answered,  and I can close that part of our life together, and get on with better times ahead.  I really do want that.

Mostly, I still need this distance for me, to work out why I feel some of the stuff I’m feeling, or even figure out what I’m feeling.  I know that doesn’t make much sense.  Most of the time it doesn’t make any sense to me.  

This is really embarrassing, and I will kill you if you ever breathe a word of it to anyone, but what I said last night about being scared, is true.  I am.  I’m scared of what’s happening between us.  I’m scared of what it might mean, and of the words we’ve both said to one another.  I’m scared what I’m feeling.  And you’ve got to believe me when I say, I don’t want to be.

When I come home to you, I don’t want to be scared anymore.  You deserve better than that, and I care about you too much to expect you to have to deal with that.  So, can you give me this time, and this space?  Does the plan sound okay?

 

 Yours,

 John

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  1:13 PM

to: John

 

John,

The plan is more than acceptable.  

I must be perfectly honest, I would love you here, now.  I miss you constantly, and with an intensity which rivals what I felt when I was away those two years.  It surprised me, when I first moved here.  I suppose I knew what I felt, but I hadn’t realised just how profoundly I felt it.  

That being said, if settling some things within yourself before you come home is important to you, then of course I will wait.

But I owe you the answers to some very important questions first, don’t I.  Foremost on your mind was this: “If you love me so much, why did you never trust me enough to let me see the real you?”

Simply put, I didn’t think you wanted the real me.  

No one else ever had.  As a child I was constantly reprimanded for strong displays of emotion.  Punished for them, more often than not.  Mycroft was the only one able to handle me, and you saw what his solution was.  Shut off.  Don’t feel.  It was always easier for him than me, but I did try!

At Cambridge it was my brain that got me friends.  Well… I say friends…  It won me some companionship.  No one wants to befriend a boy who’s always crying, do they John?  I’d been knocked down for that more than once as a child.  So, I worked hard at being more clever than everyone else, and it was easier.  I was mocked sometimes, but people kept their fists to themselves (mostly).

It doesn’t come naturally to me, though, John—shutting all that off.  In fact, it takes a great deal of effort.  The drugs helped.  But, I’m not stupid.  I know that isn’t the answer.  I would much rather just be myself.  

I had hoped that with you, I could be.  But, you seemed disturbed, or at the very least, unsettled by any strong expressions of emotion from me.  You would laugh-off any attempts I made at opening up and being more ‘human’ as you call it.  In those rare cases where I was completely fraying at the seams, like the unexpected panic that came with seeing that hound during the Baskerville incident, you seemed determined to force me back into the box of ‘Superhero-Detective’ you so idolised and memorialised on your blog.

I told you once not to make me into a hero.  I meant it.  You do that.  You place the people (or at least the men) you love onto pedestals.  The problem with pedestals is that one always falls off them, and fall I did.  The roof of Bart’s was my fall, I think.  One of them, at least.  

I’ve fallen from grace so many times, John.  And I am likely to again.  I like to think that I am more self-aware, now.  But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t still make mistakes, won’t still hurt you and let you down.  I will fight to right any wrong I do you.  I will.  But, I will make mistakes.  And if the only me you can love is a hero you have created, a man who is more than a man, someone detached, and above it all—well, then this can never work.  That isn’t, and has never been who I am.

Honestly, I don’t think you want that, though.  It seems, from some of what you have said, that you never wanted it.  I don’t know how or why we got our wires crossed, but it seems that we have been working at cross-purposes.  Perhaps it is because we never say things.  I’m not sure that ‘not saying things’ is sustainable.  Shall we vow to try and ‘say things’ as much as possible from now on?

I know you find it difficult.  It is difficult.  And I’m willing to wait for your words.  Just tell me you need me to wait, and I will.  

I’m not very skilled at it either.  I’ve so little practice.  I’ve spent most of my life either trying to convince myself that I don’t feel, or inwardly flagellating myself when it is all too obvious that I do!  Instinct is to repress.  But it seems that instinct doesn’t serve either of us very well, so why continue to heed it?  Shall we vow to do better, John?

You asked me, too, about what happened when I was away, what I meant by the ‘pain of interrogation’.  I imagine you already know what I mean.  It isn’t easy for me to talk about.  

There are techniques, things you learn to do, to dissociate and block out the worst of torture.  I did what I had to, and endured the best I could.  It only happened three times.  I do have nightmares now and again, and a few scars as souvenirs, but you mustn’t concern yourself over it now, John.  It’s long over, and I’m alright, now.  Well, as alright as one ever is after that sort of thing.  You know how that is, better than most, I imagine.

As for you being afraid, firstly, of course I won’t tell anyone.  I know enough by now, that anything spoken between us like this is a confidence.  It goes no further than here.  I know that I have not always been trustworthy in this regard, but I can see how important it is to you.  So, please know you can trust me.

Secondly, I know, John.  I’ve always known.  I’ve known since that first night at Angelo’s.  I know, and it’s alright.  If it is something you want to manage on your own, then of course, I will give you that space.  But, I do want to say this—I don’t think that you should have the expectation that you must have totally eradicated this fear in order to come home.  By all means, ask yourself whatever questions you need to ask, take the time to ruminate on the answers, but there are some things that I think you may not be able to find the answers to outside the context of ‘us’.

I know you want to be everything, and give everything when you come home.  I want to give you the same—everything you need, anything you want.  But, if we take a step forward in some areas, only to have to take two steps back for some time, you won’t be hurting me, John.  Let me help.  I will need your help too.  There is nothing wrong with moving ahead together, even if that moving is in small increments, in fits and starts.  We have our whole lives ahead to figure it out together, now.

Well, I should go.  I need to check the hives, and take Gladstone out for his walk.  Thank-you for this.  Thank-you for every honest word.  I do know that it’s not been easy for you to write them, and I am so grateful that you did.

 

Yours,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   9:04  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

Seems your case kept you longer than you planned.  I hope you’re alright.  Did the Shepherd’s Pie turn out alright?

Things are slow around here, since I decided to take time off from the clinic.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’ve been rereading all of our correspondence over the last couple of months, and it’s been good.  It’s helped me to see some things.  You’re right.  I think we have had our wires crossed a lot of the time.

I was reading your email from this afternoon, and thinking a lot about what you said, about me somehow making you feel that I didn’t want the real you.  Listen, I’m sorry.  I don’t know what it is that I do or did that makes you feel that.  If I do it, you have to promise you’ll point it out.  I guess, I don’t see.  

I love this you, Sherlock.  I know I was angry at first, but I think it was because I was scared.  I was scared to believe it wasn’t just some sort of act, some game you were playing.  Honestly, I’m still a little scared of that.  It’s hard for me to trust.  You know that.  But I want so much for this to be real.   

And listen to me, okay.  You are amazing, and brilliant, and you are a great detective, but that’s never been all I wanted, it’s never been why I stayed.  I stayed for you.  I stayed because I loved you, I guess.  I didn’t see it like that then—or maybe I did…  

Yeah, I guess I did.  I guess I did know.  Because I knew that being apart from you hurt.  I knew that I would always drop everything to go to you if you needed me.  You were always on my mind, always in my heart.  Does it make sense that I knew but didn’t know?  I don’t know how that can be, but it’s all I’ve got. 

There’re a lot of things that I know, but don’t know, I think.  And that’s a part of what I’m trying to figure out right now.  Somehow I think that you probably see it all already.  Like when you said you knew I loved you, that you knew I was scared.  You’ve always known me better than I know myself.

But somehow I think it’s important that I figure these things out myself, okay.  I know that doesn’t really make sense.  Why drag it out, when you could just tell me?  But…  I don’t know.  I guess I don’t really know what I’m saying.  I feel like I’m just rambling.  I’m sorry.

Can I tell you a story?  You remember Sarah Sawyer, don’t you?  I dated her that first year you and I were together.  Well, I say dated…  You remember the first date, right.  You should.  You were there!  And I don’t know if you can count it dating when you’re only together for a few weeks, but, you know…

Did you remember that I went to New Zealand with her, for a little vacation after everything that happened at the pool?  It’s on the blog, I think.  I went there to kind of get away from everything, to see an old mate from A.  He’d just moved there with his wife and daughter.  Sarah came too.  

It had been hard to really have any time alone what with everything that happened.  She and I hadn’t even had a chance to really get to ‘know’ one another, if you know what I…  You know what, you probably don’t know what I mean.  She and I hadn’t had a chance to shag.  There.  Clear?  There’d been a kiss or two, but nothing else.  There wasn’t time, what with breaking up Chinese smuggling rings, and gas explosions, and Moriarty!

So off we went.  I thought it would be great—a great way to connect and have some quality time with just her and me.  it wasn’t.  It wasn’t for so many reasons.  

First there was my mate, Daniel.  He was so happy with his wife Kate, and they’d just had this gorgeous little girl.  They had that kind of perfect family every one says they want, you know.  And I looked at him with his lovely wife, and his beautiful daughter. I looked at how happy he was.  I looked at Sarah holding that baby in her arms, and I recognised how beautiful she looked, how content, how right.  And all I could think about was you.

I thought about having what Daniel and Kate had.  I thought about having it with Sarah, because Sarah was brilliant.  There was nothing not to like about Sarah.  I thought about it, and I felt nothing.  NOTHING!  It scared me.  

The first night we were there, I laid in bed beside her and closed my eyes, and I thought about the pool.  I thought about your face, the way you looked in those few moments before your brain caught up to what was really going on, when you thought, I think, that I had somehow been behind everything.  I saw hurt there, and betrayal.  You looked so small for those few seconds.  Did you know?  And I couldn’t shake it, Sherlock.  I couldn’t shake the look I saw in your eyes.  Like maybe you cared what I thought of you.  Like maybe my loyalty, and my caring was some kind of gift that you wanted, deep down.  It made me ache for you.  It made me feel things I didn’t expect.

I thought about the fear I saw in your eyes, real and genuine, when you saw the explosives wired to my chest.  I remember thinking, in the moment, that you must have a plan.  I didn’t trust what I saw in your eyes.  I thought it was an act to fool Moriarty into thinking you were compromised, off your game, because you were Sherlock, you were bound to have a plan, you always had a plan!  But, when I lay awake in the dark in New Zealand, and I played that moment over, and over, I wasn’t so sure.  It looked like fear.  Like maybe, just maybe, it was the worst thing you could imagine for Jim Moriarty to blow me up.  It looked like you knew you hadn’t planned for it, for any of it, like it had all gone tits up and you were terrified.

I guess I intuited that a bit in the moment, too, even while still trying to convince myself you had everything under control.  I think that’s why I jumped him when I had the chance.  Stupid that.  I know that.  I know better than that.  But I did it without thinking. I did it on instinct, because my skin was prickling with horror at the thought that the world might go on turning the next day without Sherlock Holmes in it.  

I thought about all that in the dark in New Zealand too.

Third night there, things heated up a little when we went to bed.  Things were progressing nicely.  Sarah always smelled really good, and she had great hair.  She was what I like, you know.  So, I don’t know…  Jesus, I don’t know why I’m telling you this…

Things didn’t happen.  Do you know what I mean?  We got into the heat of things, and I was responding, and everything was as it should be, and then I just—I guess I just kind of mentally checked out.  All I could think about was the pool, always the damn pool.  The look on your face, that made me ache, and the suspicion that you maybe cared more than you let on, and the way your hands felt on my body while you were stripping that bomb away.  All those things just sort of popped into my head at once, and I kind of freaked out on her, which had also never happened before.  Everything just unravelled at once, and I got out of bed, and went to the loo and just sat there.  I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know what was happening to me.

She was kind about it, but she said she didn’t think it was going to work between us.  I didn’t argue because I didn’t want to.  I knew she was right.  I knew something was wrong, and I thought I didn’t know what, but I did know.  Again, I know that doesn’t make sense.  But, i don’t know how else to say it.  I guess i knew I loved you?  I guess I—I knew that everything that fell apart in bed with Sarah that night—I knew that that was about you to.  But, I didn’t…  No—I couldn’t accept that connection.  Not then.  Not yet.

So, I came home, and I wrote about breaking up in the blog, I think.  Yeah, I did, I remember now.  I wrote about it, and you commented, and said you didn’t know and then you went out and you bought me some beer.  That was the start.  It was such a funny, thoughtful little gesture.  And then you started walking around the flat in next to nothing, and you started making me tea in the mornings, and you started brushing by me, touching me, just a little bit, just passing whispers at the oddest times, and I could never tell if it was on purpose (was it?), or just my own fucked up perception (more likely this).

But, I couldn’t think, and I couldn’t—I just couldn’t function.  I remember one morning (it was slightly after Baskerville, I think), I woke up, and I could hear you downstairs puttering around the kitchen, and then you started practicing your violin, some familiar, slightly sad thing, and I realised I wanted you.  I ached for you, like I’d ached when I’d thought about your face at the pool.  Like there was so much fondness, there wasn’t a way to contain it anymore, and it had to come out somehow, and I lay there, and closed my eyes, and listened to you play, and…

Christ, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but…  

Okay.  I lay there, and listened to you play, and I touched myself.  You know what I mean, right?  I didn’t think about anything really graphic, I just ached, and the focus of that ache was you, and I knew that, I knew that when I was doing it, and your music was there, floating up from downstairs, and it felt like you too, somehow.  I felt too much for you in that moment, and it all sort of happened, and then it was over, and I didn’t know what to do.  That seemed to cross a line for me.  Some weird, invisible line I’d set up for myself.  It was hard to look you in the eye for awhile.  God, you probably noticed.  You notice everything.

But it never happened again.  I didn’t let it, until after you were dead.  And then it didn’t matter.  It didn’t matter because you were dead.  And that’s when I let myself drown in the thought of it for awhile.  

The other night I told you I’d thought about us that way, together.  It was mostly then, when you were dead.  It was—well, I’m ashamed to say that it was easier then, and it was so hard when you came back, just showed up, suddenly, out of the blue, and there I was with Mary, and there you were in that fucking ridiculous waiter outfit, and I wanted to hit you Sherlock.  I wanted to hit you so hard, and ask you how you could ever think, for a moment, that something like that could be funny!  

And then I saw the moment it caught up with you, the moment you realised you’d been a right prat, and your face—your face did that thing.  And you looked so small again, and I ached.  Christ how I ached to touch you, it hit me like a lorry at 100 miles per hour, and everything I’d felt, everything I’d dreamed and imagined just piled into me, and compounded on that ache, and I wanted to kill you, and I wanted to fuck you, Sherlock, and all I could do was throw you to the floor of that restaurant, because it was too late, it all felt like it was too late, and I wanted you, and I loved you, and the only way I could ever have you now was that, on the floor of a restaurant, fingers wrapped around your throat, body flush with yours.  It was all we’d ever have, I thought.

I don’t know why I thought that.  I don’t know why I thought there was no out.  I hadn’t even finished my proposal.  I guess I could have called everything off, but I didn’t feel that I could.  You’d been dead, and you were my dream, and my fantasy, and that secret thing I kept for myself, the thing to get me through the day, like a drug hit, like—I don’t know what like.  But you were my secret, and I didn’t know how to make you anything more.  I wanted to, but it felt impossible.

Jesus… I don’t even know why I’m telling you all this.  I don’t know if theres’ even a point.  I guess just to say that I wasn’t being flippant when I said I’m fucked up and no good, Sherlock.  I’m so fucked up.  I’m so confused, all the time, and I’m so fucking tired.  

Sometimes I think I just want to jump on a train right now, and come home.  I want to stop this, I want to stop keeping you something secret, something I hold in my heart, but nowhere else.  I KNOW I love you, Sherlock.  I know that now.  I KNOW I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  But not like this—not when I’m like this.

I know this probably doesn’t make sense.  I know this must be difficult.  I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry, Sherlock.  Know that I want to come home.  Right now.  This second.  I’ve never wanted anything so much in my life.  But I’m still scared, and I still can’t wrap my head around what I’m going to do when I get there, what we will be, how it will be with us.  I still see you as something I dance around the edges of.  That’s not fair to you.  That’s not fair to us.

I love you.  Just know that, okay.  Know that one thing for sure.

I WILL fix this thing.  I will figure it out.  This helps.  Talking to you like this.   It’s easier somehow, with this little bit of distance.  The physical distance, yeah, but also a kind of mental distance.  Words on a screen.  Your thoughts, and stuff, but not having to look into your eyes when you say it, not having to hear your voice.  I drown in that, and I need clarity right now.  I can’t be sucked down into pure wanting.

I’ll fix it though, I promise.  Okay.  I will. 

Write soon.

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  11:17 AM

to: John

 

John,

Deepest apologies!  I came home last night, and summarily passed out.  I just woke up a couple of hours ago, and only then saw your email from the night-before-last.  But now, Gladstone’s had a proper meal, and a proper scolding, and taken his medicine, and I’ve eaten, and made myself a nice, hot cup of tea, and here I am.  I’m all yours!  Or rather, I plan to give my response to this email of yours, the attention and time it deserves.

But, before I begin, let me thank you again, for everything you did for me yesterday.   

I don’t know what I would do if I lost Gladstone, at the moment.  He keeps me company, sometimes it feels like he keeps me sane, and he helps me not to think about all this distance between us.  

I say that, not to be difficult, or try to manipulate you into coming home.  I say it only because it’s true. I do miss you. I do wish you felt you didn’t have to fight this confusion on your own.  I know it’s difficult.  I understand everything you said in your email, and I wish you would let me help.  But, as I’ve said before, and as I will always say, if you truly feel you need to do it on your own, then needs must.  I will manage.

But, on to your email, shall we…

You asked me to tell you when you do things that make me feel you don’t want the real me—a me who is emotional, who is ‘human’, as you are fond of saying.  Yesterday presented a fairly good example, I think, don’t you?  

I was upset, it’s true.  Probably more upset than the situation warranted.  I can admit to that.  But, I will be very honest with you John, that was precisely the sort of situation I mentioned before; one where, in the past, I have been cold, distant, shut-off.  I’ve reacted so because it was how I was trained to react.  But, oh the effort it takes!  

I don’t want to be that way with you.  I want to just ‘be’ with you.  Just exist as myself, with no pretence.  That ridiculous man, panicking and acting in a way that must seem very foolish, very childish to you—that is me.  Well, a part of me, at any rate.  The part I hide, of necessity—always have.  But the part I don’t want to have to hide with you.  Because if there cannot be openness, and honesty, and raw, intimate knowing between us, then whatever is the point?

I understand you don’t like it.  I understand that you don’t understand why I’m so upset about ‘just a dog’, why you can’t grasp that I find it hard to regulate my responses to you, and become short, and rude, and curt.  Everyone responds as you do, John—Mummy, Father, Mycroft, everyone I’ve ever known.  

I understand that sort of behaviour is not the done thing.  It makes people uncomfortable.  But it is all or nothing with me it seems.  If I am to let myself feel things, then sometimes that feeling becomes too much.  And In those moments I can’t seem to stop it without expending great amounts of energy.  Sometimes I don’t have that energy to expend.   When it is someone I love in danger, I don’t, and it compounds, snowballs, and then there’s no getting out of the spiral.  I just have to let it run it’s course.  

I know high emotion makes you uncomfortable.  I know.  I suppose it is something that we should talk about.  I don’t want to upset you, John.  I don’t like snapping at you, like I did yesterday, when you are just trying to be helpful.  But, I do panic sometimes, and I am unreachable once it gets to a certain point.  I’ve tried everything.  Others have tried everything.  The only things that help are drugs, or not letting myself get to that point in the first place, and sometimes in life, that is unavoidable.  So what shall we do about it, you and I?  Let’s discuss it at some point.

But, enough about me.  You have shared so much of yourself, and that is what truly deserves my full attention.  

I will admit to being surprised, John.  I know it is not easy for you to be so forthcoming about yourself.  I can’t help but feel honoured that you felt me worth the struggle.  Thank-you.

And yes, I do remember Sarah.  I rather hated Sarah.  She was the first person to come between us.  How else was I to feel?!  

Because you are quite right - what was there not to like about Sarah?  Nothing.  She was perfect for you.  And that is why I hated her.  She piqued your love and desire so effortlessly, it seemed.  I suppose I didn’t see it quite that way at the time.  I hated her for simpler reasons—she took you away from me, she stole the time with you that should have been mine, and all she had to do was exist.  She didn’t have to work hard to hold you.  She was everything I was, everything you liked, and yet she was also the one thing I could never be.  

I was horribly jealous.  I see that now.  Forgive me if I contributed in any way to the premature end of that relationship.  I did try to insinuate myself between you, and that was unforgivable.  I tried to do better where Mary was concerned—for you, for your sake.  But that turned out a mess as well.  Forgive me.  I never seem to get it quite right.

I had always wondered what happened between you and Sarah in New Zealand.  And I did know you’d gone there with her, you know.  I only pretended not to know because I didn’t want to hear you talk about how wonderful it had been when you got back.  I didn’t want to hear about all the lovely things you’d done together.  I was glad when you got home and wrote in your blog that you’d ended things.  That’s a horrible thing to feel.  I realise that.  But it’s the naked truth.    I was glad, John.  Not glad for any hurt you might have experienced, but glad she was gone and you were mine again.

I had suspected that the end of things with her had something to do with what had happened at the pool.  You changed after that.  I could tell that something was bothering you, and when you got home from New Zealand, your eyes lingered, and your fingers sometimes brushed mine when you handed me something, you sat closer in cabs, and stood closer when talking to me, you stared at my mouth more often, and licked your lips like you hadn’t had anything to drink in months.  It was like you were drawn, almost magnetically into my orbit after that, no matter where we were, or what we were doing.

You remember the Adler affair?  The day we went to first retrieve the phone?  I asked you to hit me.  At first you didn’t want to, and then I hit you, just to get things started, and I saw something snap.  You could have just hit me back, but you didn’t, you took it far further than necessary.  You wanted your hands on me, your body against mine.  Or, so it seemed…  Any excuse, anything…  I felt you were just looking for an excuse, in those days.  

When we went to Grimpen on the Baskerville case.  You booked us into the same room, and I thought that perhaps something would happen then, but then we argued, and it didn’t.  

I wanted…  I wanted something to happen.  It felt inevitable, and necessary.  But then Moriarty resumed his deadly game, and we lost everything, and we never seemed to quite find our footing again, did we…  

It’s interesting to me that you felt that I was the one making more overt gestures after the pool.  From my side, it seemed that you were the one making them.  You found every opportunity to come close.  Your eyes would follow me about the room, and snap away the moment I turned to look at you.  

I didn’t understand it then, or what it made me feel.  I had to go away to fully realise I couldn’t live without you, that everything I had been feeling in those few months leading to my leap, had been love, yearning, desire…  I’m sorry, John.  I’m sorry it took me so long, when I think that, perhaps, you were ready, hopeful, long before that.

I know that probably sounds somewhat ludicrous to you.  You’ve just confessed that you still don’t feel ready, that you still feel afraid sometimes.  But, there is a part of you that knows, even while the other part doesn’t, I think.  

It’s like you said—you know, but you don’t.   You were afraid that wouldn’t make sense to me.  But, it does, John.  I see it in you.  Those months after the pool, and before I left you—in those months some part of you drew so close, some part of you was constantly drawing me toward you.  We were so close to colliding then.  If only we’d let ourselves, what might have happened, I wonder?

I know you’re afraid.  You’re afraid that when that collision inevitably happens, everything we have been will change—die.  You’re afraid this friendship will collapse in on itself, and gutter.  But, John, that is how galaxies are created!  We must collide at some point, we are going to have to let this thing consume us, to burn bright, to burn out, to even, perhaps, collapse in on ourselves like a dying star, if we are ever going to be reborn into something new.  

Don’t be afraid.  You’re the bravest person I know.  If anyone is fit for the task, it’s you.  And I can’t help but think of how beautiful it will be.

You do know that I love you?  Say that you do.  Say that you know that I would never push you past the point of comfort.  I know that we have walked a dangerous line in the past.  We toy the edges of that thing, don’t we.  You will forgive me, but you seem to crave it somewhat—out there, on cases.  

‘The work’ is more than ‘the work’ when we share it.  It became a kind of dangerous game with us, too, didn’t it.  I push you, always testing the limits of how far, and you seem to almost resent me if I don’t.  It is why, for a long time, I thought that was all you wanted.  That set I’d built, and that character I’d created, that allowed you to play the game—danger, risk, even pain sometimes.

I’m perfectly willing to play, if it’s what you want, what you need.  But I will be honest.  I sometimes hate that game.  It toys too close to the edge.  In Baskerville—too far.  I think I took it  too far that time.  Perhaps even the train carriage, the bomb.  Was that too close, too.  It’s such a delicate line we tread, and your heart is so precious to me, and I don’t always feel up to the challenge of knowing where the line is drawn.  I would never forgive myself if I injured you—body or soul.  I would rather err on the side of caution where your heart, and yes, your body, are concerned.    

There is no rush.  There is no expectation.  Only—only that you let your heart, and your instinct lead.  That’s what you do best, John.  

I love you, and I will never be anything but infinitely careful with you.  Whatever you want, when you want, and with every ounce of consideration you deserve.  If you want nothing more than to hold my hand in yours, every day from now until the day we die, I would be so pleased, so honoured, John.  If you wanted to share my bed, to sleep in my arms, then you may.  If you want my lips on yours, you may have that too.  If you want more, you may have more.  If you want none of those things, then there is no need for that to pass between us.

You do know what you want—some part of you knows.  Listen to that part, and trust it.

I’m not leaving.  I’m here, John.  I’m here, and I’m yours—wholly.  You can trust yourself.  And hard as it must be to believe, you can trust me.  

I will never leave you again.  I will take better care of myself, I promise.  Even in death, even in that, I won’t leave you.  You have my word.  I will take such good care of myself, you will be amazed!  I will say, or do whatever you require, so that you can have the security of knowing my vow is sound.  If you want me to sign a contract, I will.  If you want me to stand in front of witnesses, and declare it, I will.  I you want me to carve it into my flesh, I will.

Tell me what you need to feel safe.  Just tell me, and it’s yours.

 

Yours always,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  1:23 AM

to: John

 

  John,

I hope this is alright.  I find I can’t sleep, thinking about our discussion tonight, and it is easier, sometimes, to put on paper (digital or no) things that seem too difficult in person.  Not that texting is ‘in-person’, exactly, but it does seem more immediate than this.

I feel I want to be very forthcoming with you.  If what I share here is uncomfortable for you at any point, please don’t feel that you have to continue reading.  You may delete this email unread.  You may opt not to discuss it.  It is your choice.

But, what I want to get at here, is this: I have not been very forthcoming with you about my desires.  I think that you have shared more with me about yours, both in our correspondences, and through your body language, over the years.  I know that in many ways I am a closed book to you.  And I have fought with myself tonight, as to whether I should open myself to you, now, in this way.  

You see, I am not quite sure if your discomfort in this area is wholly due to your own reticence, and attempts to fully understand your wants and needs, or whether a part of it is also a result of not knowing if I struggle with similar desires of my own.  I wonder, sometimes, if you feel quite alone in your yearning, as though I do not really want you at all.

I know I have told you that I do feel desire for you.  It is a rare thing.  That was the truth.  I don’t feel these things, and they have surprised me, not just feeling them in the first place, but as time has progressed, the frequency, and intensity with which I feel them.  Respect, fondness, love, awe—yes, all these things.  But also desire, want, need, hunger.  It burns hot and bright, near constantly, and I’ve simply stopped trying to fight it.  It takes more energy to fight than I have motivation to try.

I have indulged myself often, especially since we parted ways all those months ago.  You have been the constant focus of my fantasies.  And even that—fantasy itself—is something I have rarely, if ever, bothered to indulge in.  There seemed no point.  I would masturbate, as I have mentioned, to release tension, to keep my body at peak performance, but it was often quick and perfunctory.  When you came into my life, that started to change.  

I am not like you, John.  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it was you in my heart or mind as I touched myself.  It happened so slowly, and strange as it sounds, I think it had been happening for some time before I fully realised it, realised that the warm, full, safe feeling that had slowly started to accompany these moments of release was somehow attached to the thought of you, that it was love, that it was the yearning born of that, that it was your hands I wanted on my body coaxing me towards climax.

But, I do know now, John.  I have known for a very long time.  Certainly since the moment I was sure that what I felt for you was something that eclipsed mere friendship.  That moment I can recall with perfect clarity.  It was in the middle of giving the speech at your wedding reception.  Such horrible timing, I know.  Forgive me.  But, I knew then, and that is when I stopped trying to pretend, and I have indulged shamelessly since that moment, often more than once a day.

Do I shock you?  I am sorry if this is uncomfortable for you.  I may not even send this email.  I am just so full of regret tonight, I suppose.  Regret that I never told you, or showed you, that I never even realised these things until it was too late.  And if you had not been ready I would have waited.  I will wait for you now, John.  I would wait for you forever.  I have no choice.  There has never been anyone before you, and there will never be anyone after.  You are the sum of everything I have craved, yearned for, you are the best part of my life.  I don’t want anyone else.

And if you were to decide, now, that you wanted this sort of intimacy between us, it would be most welcome.  

I cannot promise you flawless technique (though, I have spent some time studying your preferences, and have tried to learn as much as possible, enough that I think you will be adequately satisfied).  But, I can promise you full attentiveness, infinite care, and the whole of my heart.  I can promise you that I will commit every shred of my deductive skill to learning your body, to reading it as I would a crime scene, learning it’s secrets, coaxing out it’s hidden appetites.  And of course, you may have me fully, too, if that is what you desire.  All of me, however you want, whenever you want.

Do you want this, John?  And if not now, do you think perhaps someday?  

Please know that I would never have brought this up if not for our conversation earlier.  It made me hope that perhaps you were more ready than you had realised.  At least for little things, easier things like this email, perhaps?  

It is somehow easier this way.  Even one more degree of separation than text provides.  Might you tell me things here, like this, that would be too difficult via text?  You tell me.  I find this easier, and there so many things I long to tell you.  I would tell you everything if you asked, every thing I have thought of passing between us, every secret fantasy.  But, I will leave it up to you.  Tell me if it is what you want, or no.  I will accept any answer.

Because, in the end, nothing has changed.  I love you now, as fiercely as I have always done - body and soul.  I will love you if you want this between us, or not.  I will love you even if you choose to never return to me.  I accepted that a long time ago.  I accepted that after Mary.  

Nothing you could ever do or not do could make my love for you fade.  You are the only one, John.  You have always been the only one.  You always will be, and I burn for you—hot, insistent, all-consuming.

Yours always,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   9:31  AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I was going to text you when I got up this morning, tell you that I needed some time to think about the email you sent me earlier.  I was going to—and then I read it again, and again, and again.  And after the fourth time reading it, I wanted your words.  I wanted more of them.  I wanted everything you offered.

Would you tell me everything?  How often, where, how?  Would you tell me how you’ve thought of me touching you?  How do I touch you in your dreams?  What do you feel with my hands, my lips, my body against yours?  How does your body respond?  Do you want this?  Me?  Really?  Truly?

I want you.  I’ve wanted you for so long.  You can’t know how much.  

And you are right.  This is easier.  I feel I can tell you everything like this.  I don’t know how to move from this to texts, much less the possibility of face-to-face, someday, but I can’t seem to bring myself to care at the moment.  Because you are offering this, and I want this!  I want this, Sherlock.

Please—tell me everything.

Yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  10:57 AM

to: John

 

John,

I will admit to being surprised by your response.  Are you quite sure?  I will give you everything you ask, of course.  And I suppose, that this way, if it is more than you want at some point, you can just set it aside, read it later, or not at all, whichever you prefer…

Ahh…  But, I’m prevaricating.  I’ve backed myself into a corner, and now I shall have to be brave, shan’t I…  Ah well, I did this to myself ;-).  Onwards, then, shall we…

What would you like to know?  The first time I consciously chose to think of you in full, delicious detail while pleasuring myself?  

It was two weeks after your wedding.  The day after you left on your honeymoon.  I suppose I don’t have to tell you how difficult a time that was.  I needed to feel close to you, I needed to feel that you were somehow still mine.  

I knew that you were there, in Fiji, with her.  The thought of her lips on yours, her hands on your body, made me ill.  I wanted to take you back.  And I suppose that there was some dark, secret part of myself that felt that if I made love to you in my mind, somehow you might know, somehow you might feel some shift, something, even at all that distance.

Madness.  Base sentiment.  But, I’ve told you that this feeling compromises all logic, and I was not overstating, John.  You see quite well now, don’t you.  I am mad with love for you.  And in those days, I was mad with jealousy, too.

I was so unsettled, so distracted, I felt like I would go out of my mind with the loss of you.  So, I took myself up the stairs to your old room, in the middle of the day, on that rainy Sunday.  I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, and listened to the rain against the roof, the sound of the mice shuffling in the walls (did you know you there were mice up there?).  

I paced your room, I snooped through your wardrobe, and dresser.  I took out your old wheat jumper (the one you were wearing the night we shared our first case), and which I had purposefully stuffed between the dresser and the wall, so I might have it whenever I liked (yes, that is where it went).

I lay back down on your bed, and balled it up under my head, and tried not to hate your new wife, tried desperately not to hate you for leaving me.  Understand, I never could, but it was a depth of loss I was wholly unaccustomed to.  I was drowning.

And of course it was no good.  All I could think about was you, all the small, lovely details of you, the things that distract me constantly: the way your eyelashes curl upwards, so long they are constantly brushing the top of your eyelids, the angle of your mandible, how sharp, how the line of it looks in the morning, before you shaven, rough with stubble, and how smooth after you’ve showered, and the scent of you heady, and clean.  

I thought of how very much I had longed to bury my face in your neck, and just breathe the scent of you, press my lips there, to your throat, jaw, behind your ear, and murmur your name, in just that tone that makes your mouth go dry, and your skin bloom into gooseflesh (yes, John, I do notice those little things).

I thought of your lips, the curve of them, the way they are sometimes chapped, especially in the winter (you are always licking them!), and how pink they are when you have brushed your teeth, or been out in the cold, or even when you had been kissing one of your pointless girlfriends.  

Oh, I used to hate that the most, when you would come home, lips swollen and slightly chapped from kissing, and all I could think of was—well, I couldn’t quite form an idea of what I wanted then, but when you were away with Mary, then I knew.  I wanted to suck the taste of her from your lips and replace it with mine, so that she would know that you belonged to me, John.  Not to her, to me!

But, I was alone in your room, and there was no one.  I had only your jumper, your bed, your pillows, and the scent of you had long faded from all of them.  But, I had my memory of you, at least—every intoxicating detail.  Finally, a truly practical use for this eidetic memory of mine!

And so I smoothed your jumper out on the pillow next to me, and I pulled it close, and I tried desperately to find any last vestiges of your scent there.  It was most likely my imagination, but I thought for a moment, I could smell the slightest hint of that aftershave you always use (you know the £2.59 one from Boots).  I breathed, just breathed you, until I had the clearest picture of you in my mind.

And that is when I just gave up, and gave in.  Do you want to know every detail of what I thought as I palmed myself through my pyjama bottoms, canted my hips against that pillow, your jumper, buried my face in the last lingering scent of you?  The things I whispered into that empty room, how I hated you, and loved you, and wanted you to stop being such an utter, heartless arse and come home to me, to this, to my bed, and my arms, and back to everything we had and had been, everything we might have been if you had not chosen her?  I was so angry at you then, John, and so lonely, and I loved you with a fierceness that blotted out everything else.

Everything in that moment honed and focused on the sensations in my body, as I touched myself, and thought of you.  Thought, not only of your hands on me, how perfect your fingers would feel running through my hair, whispering over my scalp, not only of the backs of your fingers trailing over my arse, or the pads of your fingers digging into my hips, as we frotted against one another, but of your lips on mine, the sounds you would make, your voice rough, and broken with sighs, and grunts of pleasure, how you would whimper my name against my shoulder, how you would slowly deteriorate into nothing but a haze of desperate sensation, a string of groaned expletives, and nonsensical words, until you finally let yourself go, and came with a shout between our bellies.

The mere thought of it was enough to make me come, and I did.  I thought only of you, of your face when you came, how beautiful it must be, the feel of your cock, thick and flushed, twitching between us, the warmth of your breath, in pants and gasps against my chest.  I held nothing back, and I was completely spent, when I was finished.  

And then, I am ashamed to say, I cried.  Not because I missed you, though I supposed that was a part, but because I hadn’t realised until that moment, hadn’t fully realised, what it was I had been craving, what I had been missing all those years.  I hadn’t realised what it could be, John.

But, in that moment, I did.  It felt, for just the briefest of moments, like you were there with me.  I could close my eyes, and let the post-coital, chemical flood consume me, and feel you, as if you were truly there.  I could imagine, even if only for a moment, that you wanted me, like this, just as I wanted you.  And I cried because I knew that I might never have it, never have you in that way, and oh the loss of it…  

And then, when the rush had faded, and I had started to grow cold and uncomfortable, I pulled myself together.  I tidied myself up, made a cup of tea, and sat down and wrote that ridiculous post on your blog.  And then you were commenting back, and she was so angry with you, and I was pleased, John.  It was unforgivably childish of me, but I was so pleased that you preferred to talk to me on your own honeymoon.

You know all that transpired thereafter.  I am not proud of how I acted in the few weeks following your wedding.  I apologise for it.  It was embarrassing and infantile.  But, I don’t regret a single second of that afternoon, of everything that happened in your room at the top of the stairs.  It was a revelation to me, John.  And like so many things between us, perhaps it was a revelation that came to late—or perhaps not…  You tell me.

Know this.  I love you and want you in equal measure.  And you may have everything, anything, all you need do is ask.

Yours, body and soul,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   8:57  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

Can I just start this off by saying that I wish to Christ I was a good enough, a brave enough man to be able to say all of this to your face.  To not just be able to put it in writing here, but to look you in the eye and say it, to touch you, hold you, kiss you, fuck you. I want all those things.  I really do, and I hope that this is a start.  

I’m going to say more to you here, and be more honest with you here, than I have ever been with anyone, and I’m scared to death.  It’s not that I don’t trust you with this.  I do.  I think I’ve always trusted you.  Even when I didn’t, I did.  I remember your brother being so surprised that first night, when he kidnapped me, all 007-like, and whisked me off to some abandoned warehouse to interrogate me.  He was surprised that I had chosen to trust you immediately, when it was clear from my therapist’s case notes, that I didn’t trust another living soul.  

I’ll be honest, Sherlock, I don’t think I know how to do this, how to be with someone the way you seem to want to be with me.  Because, yeah, sure, I’ve had my share of relationships—brief, casual, fun.  Mary was the longest, and I’d only known her six months when I proposed.  That should tell you something, I guess.  I like companionship.  I like the feeling of having someone to care for.  I like the fucking, too.  But, I’ve never—I’ve never had someone feel for me what you seem to feel for me, and I’ve NEVER felt for anyone what I feel for you.

How does this work?  

You told me that you touched yourself thinking about me.  You left no detail unshared.  And Christ, Sherlock, it made me so hard reading that, and I didn’t care.  I didn’t try to stop it, and I didn’t stop myself from getting myself off after, didn’t stop myself from saying your name when I came.  It was so intense, I thought I was going to black out, and that doesn’t happen to me, it just doesn’t.  

What are you doing to me?  What is this?  I feel like everything about this is new, like maybe I thought I knew what relationships were, what love is, what fucking could be, but I never knew at all.  I feel like I’ve been lied to my whole life.  Someone told me that water was wine, and I believed it, and had no idea what I’d been missing.

You know what hit me the hardest in all that you wrote?  The fact that you trusted me enough to tell me you cried.  It’s hard for me to think of you like that, hurting like that.  It takes me back to the last time I saw you before we spent those two years apart.  I’ll never forget those tears on the roof of Bart’s.  I could hear them in your voice.  They haunted my dreams for years.  And then you came back and I found out everything had been a plan, and I wondered if they had even been real.  

Were they?  Tell me honestly, okay.  No more lies.  I promise to tell you everything if you promise the same to me.  Even if we hurt each other.  I just—I just need to know I can have that from you now—100% truth.  

Okay, yeah, maybe trust is an issue…  

Jesus, this email is a mess.  I’m sorry, Sherlock.  I’m not good with words like you.  You know that.  I feel like I’m figuring this all out as I go.  I feel like I’m just learning to walk.  I wish you were here.  It’s always easier when you’re here.  

You know me, don’t you.  I can always count on you for that.  Sometimes I’ve wanted to strangle you for that, but deep down I think it’s one of the reasons I love you.

Remember those deductions that very first day.  You’d known me seconds, and you could already tell me almost everything about myself.  I know that should have made me angry.  Like you said, most people told you to piss off!  But it didn’t.  You know what it did, Sherlock?  Christ, it made me so hot.  You just looked at me, and you knew me better than I knew myself.  It was intoxicating.  I wanted to know what else you saw.  I wanted you to see me completely.  I wanted to see and know myself in you.  I wanted it, I did…  And then I guess I kind of freaked out…

That first 36 hours was like a dream, but then I was moving into the flat properly, and there you were, day and night, so fucking beautiful all the time.  Like something from a magazine, something from a blokes wildest fantasy, and I just…  I don’t know.  I just freaked out.  And I didn’t want you seeing everything anymore.  I didn’t want you knowing. I didn’t want to see that part of myself in you…  

Oh god.  That’s it, isn’t.  I didn’t want to see my desires staring me in the face every time I laid eyes on you…

Jesus…

Fuck!  I’m so fucked up, Sherlock, and I’m so sorry.  This email isn’t at all what I set out to write.  I never meant to get so maudlin.  And I swear to you, I am dead sober right now (maybe that’s the problem)!

But, listen to me, okay—and this is the honest truth—I do want it now.  I want to see all of myself.  I want to see it, and I want to embrace it.  But, you’ve got to help me, Sherlock, please.  You’re clearly better at this than I am.  Just don’t let me run away from it.  Call me on my shit, okay.  Tell me when I’m being a bit of a wanker.  

I don’t want to push you away, or run away from things, but it seems to be my default.  I’ve been doing it for so long, I do it without thinking.  I even want to do it right now.  I’ve walked away from this computer so many times while writing this.  I’ve almost deleted a dozen times, or more.  

I look at everything I’ve written here, and I feel raw, and exposed, and I hate the man I see.  How is it that you are the one who always called himself a psychopath, but I’m the one who seems to have no heart?  

And see, I guess I don’t exactly mean that either, because I do love you.  GOD, how I love you!  And that scares me more than anything.  I love you so much, I don’t know if it can even properly be called love anymore.  It doesn’t really fit into the mold of anything I’ve ever called by that name.  

It’s so big, and so vast, and so terrifying.  I feel like I’m drowning in it, like it’s burning me up whole, and I don’t know what to do.  There is just all this FEELING, and yet here I am, in this half-packed, grim little flat in Acton, when I have an open invitation to your home, your bed, your arms, your heart.  

Who does that?!  And who has the patience for that?  

Sherlock, you do realise that no one, and I mean no one, would have stuck around this long, waited for me to catch up.  Why are you still here?  Why do you still love me, eh?  You’re Sherlock Holmes, for Christ’s sake!  And sure you’re an arrogant arse sometimes, and sure you can be moody, and difficult, and you keep bloody body parts in the refrigerator where we keep food, and occasionally blow up the stove, but your brilliant, amazing, gorgeous, and you love like—my god, how you love!

You could have anyone, do you realise that?!  

Do you even see the way people look at you.  Sometimes when we’ve been on cases I’ve wanted to slowly strangle the life out of some blokes for the way you they look at you.  Janine Hawkins!  Sure, it was for a case, all a ruse, I get that.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t wish she’d get hit by a lorry on her way out the door to work.  Irene Adler?!    Yeah, I was glad she was dead (until I found out she wasn’t), and then, I won’t lie, I wished death on her a second time.

I’m not a good person.  ^^Evidence^^ to prove my point.

You could have anyone, Sherlock, and yet you choose me.  And here I am, keeping you waiting, keeping you at a distance, and I don’t even want to!

You must be so frustrated and done with this email by now.  It’s not what I intended.  I was going to be all forthcoming about how I want you.  Because, I do you know.  I do.  I think about it too—how beautiful you would look coming undone, letting yourself go, about the sounds you would make, and the way your body would feel under mine.  It’s vague, and hazy, perhaps not as detailed as you, but I have thought about it, and I want the opportunity to fill in the details.  I do, Sherlock.

I wish I was there.  I’d just like to sit with you for awhile, like we used to in the old days, before everything fell apart.  I’d like to just sit quietly in our old lounge at Baker St., you in your chair, me in mine, and our feet so close between us, mere inches apart.  

Only maybe this time, I’d push my chair a little closer, and I’d slot my feet between yours, press my knee to the inside of your thigh, let our bodies find the comfortable places.  I would like to explore you there in the quiet, in the firelight.  

Just like old times, but different.  

I want to take the steps I was too frightened to take then.  

Maybe to get on my knees in front of you, let my hand linger on your thigh this time, a little longer than that night so long ago, let it wander, take it as far as I might go before you asked me to stop, or it became obvious you wanted more.  Maybe, to taste you, just to press my face to the front of your trousers, your pants, would you let me take them off, would you let me taste you, take you into my mouth, and suck you ’til you came?  I would. If you wanted it.  I would.

Would you tell me what you like?  I want to give you what you like, Sherlock, and I find it sad, and unacceptable that I don’t somehow automatically know.  I’m sure you take one look at me and know everything.  But, it’s not so easy for me, and I want to know.  So tell me, so that I can give it.

 

I love you,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  1:39 AM

to: John

 

John,

You are coming home.  Home—I can hardly dare believe it.  I know you are in earnest, but still I think I must have dreamt it.  You don’t know how often I have envisioned you here, us here—together.

I have wanted you here from the start.  

From the moment I laid eyes on this cottage, I knew it was for you.  There is a bedroom on the ground floor.  That is so uncommon in these old houses.  I think that it must have been a morning room before, or something of the kind, and been converted later.  But when I saw that room, I knew that it would be yours.  

You will have no need to climb the steep, narrow staircase to the upper floors when your leg aches in poor weather.  It’s why I took the room upstairs.  I left that room waiting for you.  It is yours John, or perhaps it could be ‘ours’ if you prefer.

There is the garden, of course.  It is desperate for attention, and you always seemed to have a way with those little potted herbs at the flat.  I imagine your skill in this area surpasses mine.  It was barely more than intuition, but something seemed to call to me when I first saw it.  ‘This is for John,’ some inner voice said.  

You have a way with slightly wild and stubborn things.  Everything yields to your skill and care, everything blooms beneath your touch.  And soon you will be here, and we shall see…

Will I bloom beneath your touch?  Oh, I think so.  I long to find out.  All the things I long to explore, to discover…  So many things…  

Will you let me tell you?  You said you wanted to know.  

I’m still unsure how much is too much, or if, perhaps, my desires are too simple to satisfy you.  I want everything you have to give, and I want to give you everything you desire.  You must tell me if I get it wrong.  I will learn.  We can learn one another together. 

Do you know what I would like, when you are sure, when you are ready?  I would like you to invite me to your bed.  Not in the dark of night, but in the early morning, when that room of yours will be golden, and warm, with lace-shadows of the lilac leaves outside the window dancing against the pale, cream walls, and the sound of bird song drifting in from the garden.  I want you to invite me to your bed, and I want you to let me worship you.

I am not a religious man, you know that, but when I used to sneak glances at your body, half-naked as you walked from the bath and up the stairs to your old room in Baker St., the strange tugging in my chest, and the way my whole body seemed to light up with something indescribable—that felt like awe, like rapture.  And I have longed, for so long now, to worship at the altar of your body.

I want to lay you out upon that bed, in that room, not a scrap of clothing, not a single coverlet or sheet. I want to look, and look, until I have memorised every dip and rise, every inch of flesh, every scar, every birthmark, every follicle.  Let me memorise all the shades of navy, of sea-grey, and tea-brown within your eyes.  Let me familiarise myself with the scent of you, clean and fresh from the shower; earthy, and salt-slick, loamy earth-stained fingers, fresh in from the garden; flushed, heated, the musk of sex, the scent of our bodies mingled.

I want to anoint you with kisses—forehead, eyelids, lips, jaw, throat.  To taste your skin, tang of salt, other things I cannot yet define, as I have not had the pleasure.  

Would you let me taste you, John, catalog every inch of you?  Does, for instance, the inside of your wrist have a flavour different from the cup of your throat?  Do your lips taste sweeter than the crook of your thigh?  What new delights will I discover as I slide my tongue over each peaked nipple, what will the weight of your cock feel like against my eager tongue?

What will the length, and breadth, and strength of your limbs feel like beneath my curious hands, the rise of your arse, beneath my anxious touch.  You have an absolutely breathtaking arse, did you know?  Might I press my lips there?  Might I lay my face against you, explore your cleft with my tongue, would you allow more?  I want to have all of you John, to consume you, to pull you beneath my flesh, to hold you close, and whisper ‘mine’.

What will your body feel like flush with mine, our bodies dancing together in a rhythm I somehow feel we will have no trouble finding?  The slick slide of our cocks, together, my hand wrapped around us both perhaps, or yours, whichever you prefer, whatever you like.  Will my need mount with every twitch of your cock against my palm, every pant of your breath against my lips, every sigh, gasp, moan, until I am begging you finish it, begging for release?

One thing I know for sure.  I will gasp your name like a prayer the first time I come for you.  I know, I will, John.  How long I have waited for this, how hungry I am.  And will you hold me afterwards, when my heart has slowed again, my head cleared?  Will you stay with me, so that I may know with certainty you are staying, always staying, so that I may have the reassurance of it?

It still feels like a dream, that you are coming here.  I’m almost afraid to sleep, for fear I will wake tomorrow only to find that it has been.

Home.  You are coming home, and yet—you have always been my home.  You, yourself—from the moment we met, perhaps before.  I was looking for home for years before I met you, and then suddenly, there you were, and I knew I would never want anyone else.  I knew I had found what I had so desperately been trying to find.

You have always been my home.  You will always be my home.

I love you endlessly,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

JOHN (with an excited, slightly desperate edge to his voice, as though the person on the other end of the line may somehow not be Sherlock, after all): Hello?

 

SHERLOCK: Hello, John.

 

JOHN (lets out a shaky, but happy little exhalation—almost relief): Jesus—it’s good to hear your voice.

 

SHERLOCK:  And yours.

 

(There’s a slightly awkward pause.  Finally, John giggles nervously, and Sherlock chuckles in return.)

 

JOHN:  I don’t know what to say.  This is ridiculous.

 

SHERLOCK (with a smile in his voice): It really is.

 

JOHN:  We lived together for two years!

 

SHERLOCK:  Sixteen months, John.

 

JOHN:  Was that all?  Really?  Seemed like more…  But, yeah, I mean I’ve heard you vomiting and pissing, for Christ’s sake.  So, I don’t know why this should be so…

 

SHERLOCK (smile still evident in his voice): Lovely.

 

JOHN (laughs again):  Sorry, sorry.  See!  I’m a mess.

 

SHERLOCK (joins in with a chuckle of his own): You’re doing fine.

 

(More drawn-out silence.)

 

JOHN (huffs out a small sigh):  I’m sorry about this.

 

SHERLOCK: It’s alright… (after a beat) I’m glad you’re coming home.

 

JOHN: Me too.

 

SHERLOCK: I hope the flat sells quickly.

 

JOHN: Yeah, me too.

 

SHERLOCK: I suppose you’ll still have the place in a few weeks for Greg and Molly’s wedding?  Am I still invited to stay?

 

JOHN (a little flirtatious):  What do you think?

 

SHERLOCK (chuckles): It will be good to see you, John.

 

JOHN:  Yeah.  God, yeah.  (he takes a deep breath, and then…) I—I wanna say I’m sorry.  I’m sorry, Sherlock.  I’m sorry it took me this long.  I’m sorry I walked away instead of trying.  I’m just—I’m sorry we’ve missed out on so much time.

 

SHERLOCK:  It’s alright.  I’m sorry, too, John.  Sorry, I didn’t see the truth of what I felt until it was too late, sorry I lied to you, and kept you in the dark about the important things.  No more of that, now.  I promise.  And you must call me out if I do.  Promise me.

 

JOHN:  Yeah, I promise.  And you’ll tell me if I’m shutting you out, walking away instead of facing stuff?

 

SHERLOCK: Of course.

 

JOHN: Good.

 

(Another prolonged silence.  But, they are feeling less and less awkward as the conversation progresses.)

 

JOHN:  Sherlock?

 

SHERLOCK: Yes, John.

 

JOHN (his voice now rough and thick with feeling):  I love you.

 

SHERLOCK (sucks in a quavering breath and let’s it out again before speaking in barely a whisper):  I love you, too.

 

(Another lull, the only sound the muted murmur of a distant television set on John’s end, and birdsong on Sherlock’s.  After a beat…)

 

JOHN (soft, and empathetic): You okay?

 

SHERLOCK (clearly overcome): Yes.

 

JOHN (a fond smile in his tone): Sure?

 

(There’s silence, except for the soft sound of Sherlock’s breathing.  After some time…)

 

SHERLOCK (voice slightly broken):  I didn’t expect to feel this way.  We’ve said it before.  Face-to-face, and on paper.  (it’s clear he’s teary)

 

JOHN (so fond there can be no doubt.  the warmth in his voice is overwhelming): Yeah.  But it was ‘I love you’, not ‘I’m in love with you’.  There is kind of a difference, you know.  And it’s always different in person, hearing it in someone’s voice, seeing it in someone’s eyes.  And, just think, we get to do it all over again when you come down here in a few weeks.

 

(Sherlock swallows tightly on the other end of the line, clearly trying to master his emotions.)

 

JOHN:  Wish I was there.

 

SHERLOCK (sounding very small):  Me too.

 

JOHN: Soon okay…

 

SHERLOCK:  Yes.

 

(Silence reigns supreme, yet again…)

 

JOHN: Hey…

 

SHERLOCK: I’m alright, John.

 

JOHN: Sure?

 

SHERLOCK (let’s out a small tear-washed huff of a laugh):  Not really.

 

JOHN:  I’ll be there soon.  You’ll be here even sooner!

 

SHERLOCK: Yes.

 

JOHN (sounding so happy he’s practically bursting with it):  It’s going to be brilliant, Sherlock.  Really.  You’re worrying.  You’re panicking, or something.  Don’t, okay.  It’ll be perfect, you’ll see.

 

SHERLOCK (predictably pouty): I’m not panicking.  

 

JOHN (sounding a little unsure, now): Okay…  Well, what are you feeling?  

 

SHERLOCK (snapping):  I don’t know, John!

 

JOHN (now definitely a little irked):  Alright!  Jesus.

 

(Silence descends between them.)

 

SHERLOCK (small, and sincerely penitent):  Sorry.

 

JOHN (gentling):  Yeah.  Okay.  It’s okay.  Just talk to me.  What’s going on?

 

SHERLOCK (less sharp, but still anxious):  I don’t know.  I don’t know what I’m feeling.

 

JOHN (gently, carefully): Can you describe it?

 

SHERLOCK (sighs deeply):  It just hurts.

 

JOHN (a sad kind of smile evident in his tone):  Maybe you just miss me.

 

SHERLOCK (voice getting tight with emotion all over again): I do.  I do, John.  Every day, every moment.

 

JOHN (softly): I miss you too.  But, lets stick to the plan, yeah?  I know it’s hard, but just think of how much better we’ll know one another by then, hmm?  All the extra emails, and texts and calls.  And think about what it’s going to be like when you’re finally here for the wedding.  Sure, we’ll have that damned tedious wedding to attend…

 

(Sherlock huffs out a laugh.)

 

JOHN (continues, his pleasure at Sherlock’s laughter evident in his voice.  It’s clear he's smiling too): But, we’ll also have all that time together, just us.  (his tone grows a little more flirtatious, but a carefulness remains)  Maybe try out some of the stuff you talked about in those emails you sent me, huh?

 

SHERLOCK (lets out a small huff.  you can almost hear him blushing):  Maybe.

 

JOHN (gently teasing):  You gonna get shy on me?

 

SHERLOCK (clearly blushing like mad): No.

 

JOHN (chuckles):  It’s fine.  It’s all fine, okay.  We’ll figure it out.  It’s just going to be so amazing to lay eyes on you again. 

 

SHERLOCK (suddenly doing a complete 180° on the topic): What are you wearing?

 

JOHN (dead quiet for a beat, and then a nervous giggle):  What?

 

SHERLOCK:  What are you wearing?

 

JOHN (sounding a little unsure): What?  Right now?

 

SHERLOCK:  No, no.  To the wedding!

 

JOHN (audibly relieved):  Oh.  I don’t know.  I’ve not given it much thought.

 

SHERLOCK: It’s a day wedding, and day suits are acceptable.  I’ll have to wear a tie I suppose…  But, you’ve no grey or navy suits, John.

 

JOHN (let’s out a clipped laugh):  How do you know that?

 

SHERLOCK: I just do.  So, you’ll have to purchase one.  There’s a little bespoke place in Soho, I’ve used in a pinch.  He knows me.  At six weeks it’s an awful scramble, but mention my name, and he’ll rush the fittings.  I’ll text you the address.  

Molly’s having the brides maids in satsuma orange—heaven knows why—and the men in dove grey.  So summer navy for you, I think.  It will look well with your eyes.  I’ll text Mark the details, your measurements.  

Have you put on any weight since I moved here?

 

JOHN (more amused than irked): You dressing me now, then?

 

SHERLOCK (sounding a little bored): It’s logical, John.  Mark’s very good, and he owes me a favour.  Well—several, actually.

 

JOHN: And how much is Mark going to charge me for this wonder of a suit?

 

SHERLOCK: Oh, don’t worry about that.  He owes me, as I said.  It will all be taken care of.

 

JOHN (a tad suspicious):  Sherlock, you’re not paying for this out of your own pocket, are you?

 

(Silence.)

 

JOHN (firmly):  Sherlock…

 

SHERLOCK (sounding greatly put upon): It’s at a considerable discount, John.  And there’s no reason for you to be spending money with a move on the horizon.  Besides, I’ve more money than I know what to do with since Mycroft’s estate settled in the Spring.

 

JOHN: Sherlock, I…

 

SHERLOCK (interrupting, but amiably):  Oh do stop complaining, John.  It’s not as though you’re the only one to benefit in this situation.

 

(There’s a slight pause, as John presumably absorbs this new bit of information.)

 

JOHN (now clearly amused, and unabashedly pleased):  Are you saying this is all just because you want to see my arse in a pair of bespoke trousers?

 

(Silence--yet again.)

 

JOHN (unquestionably tickled): Oh my God!  It is!

 

SHERLOCK (sounding very much like the child caught with his hand in the cookie jar):  Possibly…

 

JOHN (lets out a breathy laugh):  Christ, I love you.

 

SHERLOCK (clearly smiling):  I love you too.  

 

JOHN:  Listen, I hate to say it, but like an idiot I promised to fill in a half shift for Verner at the clinic, and I’ve got to run, but email me, okay?  I do love your emails.

 

SHERLOCK (sad, but pleased): Do you?

 

JOHN: Yeah.

 

SHERLOCK:  I will then.

 

JOHN: Can’t wait!  Give Gladstone a scratch behind the ears for me.  I’ll talk to you tonight, okay.

 

SHERLOCK:  Alright.

 

JOHN (voice softening again): Love you.

 

SHERLOCK (ineffably fond in return): Love you, too.

 

JOHN: Bye.

 

SHERLOCK: Good-bye, John.

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  11:26 AM

to: John

 

John,

It was lovely to hear your voice this morning.

I do apologise for—well, I hadn’t expected to be so affected.  I’d not realised until I heard it, how deeply I had been missing you.  The moment I heard your hello, I was instantly transported back nearly three years, to those golden days, forever memorialised in my memory as the best months of my life.  Sixteen months in which it was, for the most part, just you and me at Baker St..  How I long to have those days again.

I have decided to start preparing your room.  You do want the room on the ground floor, don’t you?  It is a lovely room.  plenty of windows to let the sea breezes in, and looking out to the garden.  The bed is larger too, and I will buy a new mattress.  The one there is very soft, and I remember you prefer a firm one.  There is also a fireplace in the room, so you will have added heat in the winter.  It was still quite cold the first of April when I came here, and the hearth in the lounge was invaluable as an extra source of heat.

I think that Gladstone’s come down with a case of fleas after his adventure with the vicar.  He has been scratching all morning.  I suppose he will have to have another bath and flea treatment.  He will love that.  I suppose I will have another couple of days of being ignored to look forward to.

I’m prevaricating.  This is just small talk, and not at all what I want to say.  All I can think is: John, John, John…  I don’t want to stick to the plan.  The plan is quite unbearable.  I want to be with you now.  Do you still need time, space?  Do you really?

This is wholly selfish, but I cannot bear the thought of another night under this roof without your presence here.  I want to wake in the morning, and see you in your chair by the fire, bring you a cup of tea, sit across from you, and just look at you.  I want the sound of you in the house, your footfall on the floor boards, your whistling as you putter about the kitchen, your muttering at the newspaper or television.  

I want to look out at the garden, and smile at you scolding Gladstone as he does his best to undo all the work you’ve just done. I want the warmth and comfort of you beside me when I go out on little cases.  I crave your companionship.  It is lonely here, John, even if it is beautiful.

And yes, I want the sound of your breath, in the dark, beside me.  Might I share your bed now and again?  And by that I mean spend the the whole of the night with you, even if it is just to sleep?  I don’t want to assume.  Tell me you wouldn’t mind.  I do long to know what it is like to sleep the whole night through with you beside me.

Well, I should go give Gladstone his bath.  I hope your afternoon at the clinic isn’t too tedious.  Text me when you get back.

 

All my love,

 

Sherlock

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

26/08/15

 

Sherlock,

 

Good-morning.

First, let me start out by saying that I’m out in the kitchen making your breakfast, so don’t panic when you find me gone from our bed and this letter on my pillow.  Yeah…  I know you.  You were panicking there for a minute, weren’t you.  

As if I would do that!  I will, unfortunately, have to go back to London for a bit to sell that stupid flat, but I’m not leaving you, not really, not ever again.

Now for what I really want to say.  Dropping everything, and coming here was the number one best decision I’ve ever made in my life.  The fact that I actually managed to surprise you was just icing on the cake.  

We weren’t even off the phone before I knew what I had to do.  I couldn’t hear you like that, the pain of separation in your voice, and continue on like we had been.  I’m sorry, Sherlock.  I didn’t know…  And then when I was on the way to the train station, and got your email.  Well, that was just confirmation.  It’s right, isn’t it—everything just feels so right, now.

The look on your face when you opened that door.  I think I’ll remember that until the day I die.  I kind of thought you were going to pass out on me there for a minute (thank God you didn’t!), but Christ, it felt so good to finally have you in arms, finally be here, where I always should have been.  

I never should have left you, Sherlock.  I never wanted to—deep down.  I was angry, and hurt, and just so confused, but I should have tried to move through that with you, rather than apart from you.  I see that now.  I was such an idiot.  I’m sorry, okay.  I’ve learned my lesson.  I can’t imagine repeating that mistake.  Together, together, together.  I swear it.  Always together.

I woke up so early this morning, and you’re right.  This room is beautiful in the morning—exactly as you described.  I just lay here and watched the slow-dawning light play over your face.  You look 12 years old when you sleep, did you know that?  You were so beautiful.  I wanted so much to touch you…  

I remembered the way your lips felt against mine last night in the kitchen, warm, salty from our mingled tears, and just a little hesitant.  But sweet, and full, and deliciously drawn-out in the end.  You weren’t lying about wanting to explore, were you.  It was incredible, like everything about you—amazing, fantastic. 

That kiss will be burned into my heart and mind forever.  I’ve never had a kiss make me go dizzy, but that one did.  God, I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  Do you know how much?!  I hope you do.  

I’ve never been kissed by someone who really, truly loved me, before.  I realised that.  It’s different somehow, isn’t it.  I could kiss you forever like that.  Come out here to the kitchen, and we can try it again!  I want to get as much of that in as I can before I have to go back to London on Sunday.

And, because I know you, and I know you’re probably fretting about it, PLEASE do not feel that you have to apologise about anything that happened last night after we went to bed.  We can go slow.  I want to go slow.  I think you expected that we needed to leap right into things, and I get that, but if it was because you thought that it needed to happen right away, or I might be unhappy and leave, please know that’s not the case.

You can’t do everything perfectly the first time.  I know that probably irks you.  You like to be perfect at everything, or you just won’t do it at all.  But sex isn’t like that.  There will be lots of fits and starts.  Fumbling around like a couple of teenagers with you is better than anything I’ve ever had with anyone else.  I can tell already.  So relax, okay.  Let’s just have fun together.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m a little nervous about it, too.  I think going slow is going to be better in the long run.  I want to have a chance to settle in and get comfortable with one level of things before we move on to the next.  I love your kisses.  I love the warmth and weight of you sleeping next to me (don’t think you’re ever going back up to that room upstairs).  I love the way your fingers go exploring, every inch, every detail.  Let’s sit with that for awhile.  Let’s get everything we can out of that, and then we’ll try some more.  Agreed?

Now come out into the kitchen and get your breakfast.  I’ve been wanting your lips on mine since I woke up!

 

Love,



John

Chapter Text

(left on the tea table beside john’s chair)

28/08/15

 

John,

These last three days have been so far beyond anything I could have expected, that all words fail me.  Still, I will try…  

You are outside right now, already working on clearing the hedges so I might be able to see the hives from the window of the lounge; Gladstone, sabotaging your every effort, just as I predicted.  He has taken to you, you know, despite his unchecked puppyish enthusiasm.  I know he’s a ridiculously jealous dog.  It’s because I’ve spoilt him.  But, he loves you despite it all, it seems.  

I suppose we will have to do something about the sleeping arrangements if we are to ever have an intimate moment without him immediately insinuating himself between our bodies.  He could find a permanent spot in the lounge, perhaps?  Though, I have to admit that it does make me pity him a little.  He whined so last night, and he has been so used to sleeping wrapped around my head.  

Yes, I know…  As I’ve said, I spoil him.  And you are quite right, he will be much too big for that soon.  You must help me be stricter with him, John.  I’m a horrible dog parent(?) (pet owner seems too detached and formal, somehow, but pet parent is unforgivably twee.  Is there an acceptable alternative?).  I think he appreciates your firmer hand.

As for me, I have appreciated your infinite patience.  I’d not expected to be this sentimental, so intermittently, so spontaneously.  It’s as though every little thing you do surprises and delights me.  And, it’s not as though you haven’t made me breakfast before, or propped your feet on the seat of my chair as I sit across from you in the evenings, or smiled at me over the lid of your laptop as you blog or browse.  You have done all these things, and yet every time feels like the first and the last, and I’m sorry that I’ve somehow deteriorated into a misty-eyed fool.  

Though, to be a fool in love with you—well, I could think of much worse things.  It is the greatest, and best experience of my life.

Last night…  Last night was better, yes?  

I was concerned for you, a little.  You seemed so overcome.  But, you have assured me you are alright, and so I will trust your word.  But, please promise to tell me if it is too much.  I know that we are ‘taking it slow’, that the ways we have chosen to share our bodies with one another have thus far been limited.  But, even so, you are so visibly affected…  Really, we may slow down even more, if you prefer.  

It bothers me greatly, John, that in all these years, with all your myriad of lovers, not a single one seems to have taken a care for your heart.  I won’t lie, it pleases me, too, on some level, to know that they were nothing to you, or for you, and that is unforgivably selfish of me, I know.  But at the very root of it, deep down, it angers me.  

How dare they?  How dare they drink from the font of your body, and give nothing but base, physical pleasure in return.  How dare they not appreciate the treasure you are!

I know that you say it was all you knew too, that I shouldn’t be surprised that like attracted like, but does that excuse them?  Not in my estimation.  To take, and take, and never give.  That is inexcusable, and mere physical pleasure is not enough, especially when it is so achingly obvious that you had that aplenty, and that it was your heart that was crying out for tenderness and care.  So yes, I’ve decided that I hate all your former lovers.  And I refuse to give them another thought.

Do you know what has been the highlight of all the things we have intimately explored thus far?  This morning.  Waking before you, sliding over to slot my naked body against yours, press my face between your shoulder blades, and just listen to you breathe—the comforting rhythm of your heart, the warmth, the aliveness, the mere presence of you—here, in our house, in my life.  And when you woke, and let me look at you all I liked.  So many new details to catalog away, John!  And then to breathe you in, to touch you, just a little, to press my lips to, to taste you wherever I liked…

I know it embarrasses you, or at the very least confuses you, that I want that, but please—please, John…  It is the greatest gift you are giving me at the moment, and I am not bothered if you prefer to close your eyes, if you blush, or even if you cry.  Why should I be?  If it bothers you, because it makes you uncomfortable, then by all means, as I say, we can slow down even more.  But know that I am wholly undisturbed.  Whatever you need, whatever you want is what you must have.

You, like that, the way you gave your body over to me, wholly—it was such a gift.  Thank-you.  You’ve no idea how very much I love you, how much I want to find all the things that will reach you, feed you, fill you.  Tell me.  You must promise to tell me.  And if, as you say, you don’t know, then at least let me know when I'm lucky enough to accidentally stumble upon something you crave.  

Happy little accidents can be the best kind.  I would have never, for instance, intuited that you would melt in seconds, and all but purr like a satisfied cat if I were to run my fingers through your hair.  I crave it for myself, of course, and you mustn’t stop it, John.  Promise me, you will never stop!  But, it was a pleasant wonder to watch you calm and then flush with pleasure when I did the same for you.

The only thing marring the joy of having you here, is knowing that you will need to leave again in two days time.  How shall I sleep without you, John?  How shall I bear the echoing silence of the cottage without you in it?!  I can’t even bring myself to think on it for long, because I feel hopeless in the face of the impending inevitability of it!

No, I shan’t ruin what little time we have with talk of this.  It will come soon enough, and we will have to find our courage then.  

I am going to tell you to come in now.  It’s been two hours, and you’re growing brown as a nut, sunscreen and all.  Perhaps you will let me watch you shower.  Perhaps you will let me join you.

 

Yours in anticipation,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

  

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

29/08/15

 

Sherlock,

I wanted to get this all down here before we try to talk about it again face-to-face.  Sometimes this is easier.  You know how hard it is for me to gather and speak my thoughts.  That’s why yesterday happened.  Don’t want that to happen all over again.  So, can you read this before you come out to breakfast?  

Firstly, can I just say again that I’m sorry.  I’m really, really sorry.  I’m so glad you let me into your room and bed last night, that you were willing to tell me how you were feeling in the end, because I hadn’t thought about things in quite the same way you had.  

You’re right.  I did take for granted the sorts of strings that Mycroft was able to pull when you and I were shot, and in the hospital, those separate times all those months back.  I’m a doctor.  I know better.  But, I guess I just always took that stuff for granted, because I never had to really think about it before.  But now Mycroft’s gone, and I don’t know what I’d do if anything ever happened to you again, and they wouldn’t let me make decisions for you, because I’m not considered family.  Or, if something happened to me, and they wouldn’t let you do the same.  It makes me feel sick, just thinking about it.

You are my family.  You’re my everything.  And yes, I know that there are legal workarounds, but if one is going to go to all that work and expense, then why not just…?  And no, I don’t want a civil partnership instead, not when there is the chance for more.  Why limit it to that, when my only real objections are just some fucking irrational fear about a marriage license jinxing everything we have?!!

And I won’t lie.  I didn’t realise how important this was to you.  I just thought it was something you sort of accidentally dropped out there and then didn’t know how to take back.  So yeah, I’m an idiot.  I’ll own that.  

That’s sort of inexcusable, since you have been more than forthcoming with your feelings the last few months, but it’s still hard for me sometimes, hard for me to grasp that this is you, that this has always been you.  I keep thinking I’m dreaming, or that at some point the other shoe will drop and suddenly you’ll be ‘Sherlock Holmes: Super Sleuth & High-Functioning Sociopath’ all over again.

That’s my problem, not yours.  I’m trying, Sherlock.  I’m trying so hard for us.  And I know that I mess things up again, and again.  Last night—that might have been one of the biggest mess-ups ever!  I hate myself for hurting you like that.  

And no, you didn’t do anything wrong.  You didn’t need to have some elaborate plan, get down on one knee.  That would have seemed a little ridiculous, to be honest.  That text last night was—unexpected, and random, and kind of funny in it’s own way.  In the end it was just so perfectly you, perfectly us, and I love you for just sort of bumbling into that the way you did.

I was shocked, that’s all.  I hadn’t realised that was in your heart.  I don’t know why I didn’t.  Like I said, you’ve been nothing but open with me for months.  But, I truly didn’t see it.  And I kind of panicked, and then I said all those things I wish I could take back.

You remember I warned you.  I told you that I was a mess, and that I would just hurt you.  That was me making excuses, and being scared, but there was truth in it too.  And time has borne that out.  Last night—see, I was right.  

But, listen, okay.  I don’t want to use that as an excuse to run.  

I’ll be honest, I wanted to run.  This is so hard.  Last night I thought for a moment about just packing up and going back to London, because I couldn’t deal with the way I’d hurt you, and how terrified I suddenly felt (I still don’t really understand why).  But then I was laying alone, in the dark, in our bed (‘our’ bed, Sherlock), and I knew I couldn’t.  I could never do that to you, never again.  And so I tried.  

I want to keep trying.  

I’m not a good man, Sherlock, despite what you seem to think.  But, I think I can be.  And I want to try, because that’s what you deserve.  

So, all this to say that, yeah, of course I’m staying.  Yeah, of course I love you, want to be with you in every way there is to be with a person.  Of course, I want to be seen as your family, to everyone, in every capacity.  And yes, I would be so very, very honoured to be your husband.

 

Penitently yours, and with all my love,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  10:35 AM

to: John

 

John,

You’re gone.  The cottage is already echoingly empty without you.  Gladstone is sitting at the front door, staring at it with a kind of eager, anticipatory loyalty, as though expecting you to walk through it again at any moment.  I can hardly blame him.  I’m doing the same.

Why must you leave?  I hate this.  I HATE it, John!

I thought I could do this, but I can’t.

You are most likely on the bus to Eastbourne now, and then it will be the train to London, each and every minute taking you further, and further away.  It’s unbearable.  I feel as though there is a thread tied from my heart to yours, and with every mile it stretches tighter, and tighter, until the pain is unbearable, and I fear it might break.

It’s raining here now.  You didn’t take an umbrella.  I should have given you mine.  You never remember an umbrella.  Why do you never remember an umbrella?!

You do know that you have to live here for at least seven days if you want to register the intention to marry with the local register office?  Now you’ve left.  Do the days reset?  Did those five days you were here count?  They feel as though they should.  Or do you register there in London, and I register here, and then we have to bring two separate authority documents here (we are marrying here, are we not)?!  I will have to find out.  

And you know that even then, even when we register, then there is still the waiting, all the waiting, twenty-eight long days!  I suppose you do know.  You’ve done it once before.  But it seems unfair.  Do other countries have these restrictions?  I want to marry you now.

It is alright now, though?  Truly alright?  I don’t want you to feel you have to.  Everything you said—I understood what you meant.  You know me, I’ve never had a very high estimation of the institution, but when I watched you get married all those months ago…  Something happened.  

I knew then.  I wanted you that way, to belong to each other in that way, to have and to hold…  I wanted people to see it, and to know.  Oh how fiercely I wanted it!  It never made sense to me, and then suddenly, seeing you walking away, saying those words to someone else, knowing that she had you now, in a way I never would.  Suddenly, it did make sense, and it was all too late!  

Until it wasn’t. 

You won’t be sorry, John.  I just want to grow old with you.  I just want to have you here, where I can look at you, speak to you, touch you, any time I please, to know that I have the power to care for you, that no one can ever take you away from me, not ever again.  

Just having you here in the house makes everything better.  It chases the noise from my mind.  It’s only ever truly quiet and calm when you are here.  Do you understand what that means to me?  The inestimable value of it?

At least I have these last five days, written in my mind, burned into it, a permanent keepsake.

Yesterday morning—long into the afternoon—all of yesterday.  In our room.  In our bed.  You—all mine.  Me—all yours.  All your words, words I know are difficult for you to say, and still—still you said them.  The look in your eyes as we lay together and talked.  The way your fingers reached out to brush hair from my eyes, or press against my lips, or trace along my cheek.  Little, familiar touches.  Like you wanted me, truly wanted me, and wanted—no, needed, to drink in as many details as possible, to last you when you left.  Like you were tasting me, John.  Memorising me.   

Those memories are all that are sustaining me now.

You look so beautiful when you are absorbed with want.  I’d always imagined just the joy of being allowed to explore you.  The intoxicating pleasure of it.  I could never form a clear picture of you, how you would be, how you would look.  There were so many missing details.  Now nothing is missing.   I’m flooded with data.  I’m drowning in a sea of you, and all I want is more, and more, and more…

Was I alright?  Was I what you liked?  You wanted to look this time, and to explore, and of course you can.  Everything is yours, all for you.  

I came so easily for you.  I knew I would.  I worried you would be disappointed, we’d barely begun.  But you seemed so pleased to watch.  And the sight of you watching me tease pleasure from my own cock, how your eyes grew hooded, and dark, and your mouth lax, and wet, and how the whole of you flushed with arousal, it was that that pushed me over the edge so quickly.  Has anyone ever told you how hungry, how slightly dangerous you look.  Like a wild thing that is starving.  And you are starving, I think, John.  I think maybe you have been starving all your life.

What did these other lovers do for you?  Surely it must have been very little for you to be so hungry now.  

All the ways you touch me are perfect.  All the ways you let me touch you, perfect too.  But you hold yourself back a great deal.  I touch you, and I see your skin bloom in gooseflesh, your pupils widen, nipples peak, and cock flush and fill with need, but I am only permitted so far.  Do you realise it, that you let me touch your body, but not all of you?

It’s alright.  I love you.  I love every bit of you I am allowed.  I accept it fully for what it is—a precious gift, freely and fully given.  If that is what you want to give then it is what I want.  But, I do wonder if you know that there might be more.  I think there might be, John.  I feel it somehow.  I want to find it together, if you would permit it.

I see it at other times, but never when you give your body to me.  I see it when you smile at me when you hand me a cup of coffee in the morning.  I see it when you look up and catch me watching you in the garden.  I saw it yesterday, as you lay beside me, talking—soft, soothing touches; slow, lazy kisses as you told me it would be alright, that yes you wanted me, all of me, were honoured by my love, proud to be mine, and that yes, yes, yes you would marry me.  I saw all of you then.

But when your hunger for my body overwhelms you, I see that thing fade, and something cold, and distant, and just a little sad replaces it.  You can love me then, like that, just as fully as you do in the little things, you know.  Sometimes I feel that you think you can’t.  There is some strange, invisible divide.  

I cannot speak for you, I can only speak for myself, but the love I have for you when my body slides sweat-slick against yours, when I tease a finger along the cleft of your arse, or wrap my lips around your cock, is the same love I have for you when I comb my fingers through your hair while you watch television, or when I slip my hand in yours as we walk Gladstone to the end of the lane and back.  That same beautiful, full, warm thing—it infuses every way I am with you.

Somehow I feel this won’t make sense to you.  In all truth it’s not making much sense to me.  It is so difficult to find the words for these things, isn’t it?  Because some things are, I suppose, not meant to be expressed with language.  Cannot be expressed with language.

You told me once, in one of our many correspondences, that you felt that I spoke a language you did not understand.  I see what you mean now, now that you are here, in my life and in my bed.  Is it a language you would like to learn, or would you prefer I just refrain from speaking it?

We have all the time in the world to answer these questions.  My only regret is that we must spend even another second apart.  

How will I sleep tonight without the warmth of your body next to mine, the comfort of your breathing.  I will even miss your muttering at Gladstone to stop snoring, and settle in the wee hours.  Oh, I ache with missing you, John, and you’re not even half back to London.  Whatever shall I do without you?  You must come back just as soon as you can.

You don’t really need to be there, do you?

 

Come home to me,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

SHERLOCK (confused and slightly out of breath): John?!

 

JOHN (smiling): Yeah, it’s me.  Who else would it be?

 

SHERLOCK (worried):  Why are you calling?  What’s wrong?

 

JOHN (chuckles):  Nothing’s wrong.  Just wanted to call and let you know I got back okay.

 

SHERLOCK (still trying to process this information): Oh.

 

JOHN (laughs):  It’s what people do, Sherlock.

 

SHERLOCK:  I know that!

 

JOHN (laughs again):  It’s a surprise, I know.  You sound out of breath, did I catch you in the middle of something?

 

SHERLOCK (not sounding at all convincing): No.

 

JOHN ( slightly flirtatious ):   Liar.

 

( There is only silence on the other end of the line. )

 

JOHN (giving not an inch, and still sounding ridiculously pleased): What were you doing, hmm…?

 

SHERLOCK (clearly lying): Cleaning.

 

(John laughs out loud.  This is clearly the funniest thing he’s heard in awhile.)

 

SHERLOCK (with a pout): What?

 

JOHN (still flirtatious):  Cleaning?  You expect me to believe that you were cleaning?

 

SHERLOCK (chuckles): Fine.  Not cleaning.  (softer now)  I miss you…

 

JOHN (softening too): So much?  Already?

 

SHERLOCK (sounding so very small):  Yes.

 

JOHN (this information is clearly painful):  Hey, I’m sorry, okay.  Just give me a couple of days.  I’ll see that Mark bloke about the suit, I’ll hire an estate agent, and get this flat packed up, quit my job.  Give my notice at the local register office here for my authority documents.  You’ll have to do that, too, only there.

 

SHERLOCK: You got my email?

 

JOHN (mildly surprised): No.  Did you send me one?

 

SHERLOCK: After you left, yes.

 

JOHN (apologetic):  Oh, no.  Sorry.  My phone died on the train, and then I called you on my land line as soon as I got in.  I’ll read it in a bit, yeah?

 

SHERLOCK (sucks in a quavering breath and let’s it out again before speaking):  Fine.  Yes.

 

JOHN (slightly concerned): You okay?

 

SHERLOCK (sadly): I just miss you.

 

JOHN (sympathetic): I miss you too.  (now clearly trying to force some lightness back into the conversation)  Are you busy?  Well, busy with things other than wanking?

 

(There’s dead silence on the other end of the line.  After a moment John laughs.)

 

JOHN (teasing): Yeah.  I know that’s what you were doing when I called.  Don’t try to deny it.

 

(Silence again, and then…)

 

SHERLOCK (clearly sheepish):  How did you know?

 

JOHN (smiling fondly): Because I know you, and because I miss you too, and was just thinking I could used a good wank myself, when I walked in.  I’ve been half-hard most of the way home.  Decided to call you instead, though.

 

SHERLOCK (a little shy, but unmistakably pleased):  Oh.

 

(Silence.  After a beat or two…)

 

JOHN (slightly nervous, but still infinitely warm and fond): You still up for it?

 

SHERLOCK (slightly thrown): What?

 

JOHN (sounding a little more sure): Do you want to join me?

 

(Dead silence on the other end of the line.)

 

JOHN (letting out something between a sigh and a laugh):  You still there?

 

(Still only silence.)

 

JOHN (slightly amused):  Did I lose you?  You can say ‘no’, it’s okay.  

 

(Silence continues.

 

JOHN (sounding a little concerned, now): Yeah—you’re kind of starting to scare me now.

 

SHERLOCK (suddenly, as though snapping out of a trance):  Sorry.  I’m here.  Yes.  I mean, no.  I just…  What would I have to do?

 

JOHN (warmth returning to his voice):  Just do what you were doing before I called, only let me listen. I can talk to you if you like.

 

SHERLOCK ( still clearly nervous, but you can tell his curiosity is piqued now, too ):   What would you say?

 

JOHN (clearly flirtatious):  What would you like me to say?

 

SHERLOCK (swallowing dryly):  Will you touch yourself, too?

 

JOHN (clearly growing more aroused, now that the game is afoot): You want me to?

 

SHERLOCK (a little breathless):  Yes…  Please. 

 

JOHN (smiling, but flush with arousal.  his voice has dropped a good half-octave and gone rough around the edges with desire):  I’m so hard right now.  I’ve been aching for you all day.  You want me to tell you what I’m doing, what I’m thinking about?  You want me to tell you how it feels?

 

SHERLOCK (clearly breathless): Yes.

 

JOHN (softly): Yeah?  Yeah, I can do that.

 

( There’s a little rustling on the other end of the line, and then the distinct sound of a zip being lowered. )

 

JOHN (breathy and low): Do you know how hard it was to not sneak back to the loo on the train, and have a go right then, on the way home?  Just thinking about everything we shared last night, thinking about how gorgeous you were stroking yourself for me, remembering the sounds you made.

Jesus, you were so… (there’s a soft swish of cotton, and John’s breath hitches, threading out into something half sigh, half moan as he takes himself in hand)

 

SHERLOCK (inhales sharply and then lets out a little huff of pleasure at the sound):  So…?

 

JOHN (moaning softly):  So perfect…  So fucking perfect, the way your—your hand looked wrapped around y—your cock, those fingers, Christ!  And—and your pupils so blown, Sherlock…  Gorgeous.  Just so…  I’ve been touching myself since I walked in the door.  Had to call.  Had to—had to hear your voice.  I…  Oh, Jesus…

 

(John is clearly tipping over the edge, and they’ve barely begun.)

 

SHERLOCK (breath coming quick and shallow, breathing out John’s name like a prayer): John…

 

JOHN (whines, almost desperate):  I’m—sorry, I—I’ve wanted you since I left this morning.  All the way home.  I couldn’t…  God!  I can’t…

 

(Sherlock’s breath is still coming in quick little pants, but there is a forced quieting to it.  He is clearly listening now—intently.)

 

JOHN (panting):  Sherl—Sherlock…  Oh God, I…  Fuck, I…

 

(Only silence.  Sherlock has given up on anything he was engaged on his end of the phone, and is 100% engrossed in listening to John bring himself off, in him coming so completely undone in so short a time.)

 

JOHN (panting that sounds to be teetering on the brink of sobs): Fuck—I—I’m sorry.  I…  I’m sorry, I just…  I’m sorry.  I’m…  Oh god—God!

 

(John comes with a desperate whine, that ends in a series of choked sobs, before growing incredibly quiet.  After a long stretch of absolute silence…)

 

SHERLOCK (softly, carefully):  Are you alright?

 

(There is the soft rustle of fabric, the sound of John breathing, a hitch in his breath as he gets up from the couch.)

 

SHERLOCK:  John…

 

JOHN:  Just give me a minute.

 

SHERLOCK: Alright.

 

( There is the soft thunk of the phone being set down on some hard surface, and the sound of John’s retreating footsteps.  The sound of distant water running for a few minutes, before it shuts off.  After a moment or two more John’s footsteps return and he picks up the phone. )

 

JOHN (not quite himself, but with an emotion that isn’t easy to pin down over the phone): Hey.

 

SHERLOCK (careful): Hello.  Are you alright?

 

JOHN (breathes in sharply and lets it out again in a small huff): Sorry.

 

SHERLOCK: For what?

 

JOHN (huffs out a little laugh that sounds almost like disbelief, a little like frustration):  That.  All of—I didn’t mean to…

 

SHERLOCK (reassuringly):  I liked it.

 

JOHN (clearly surprised by this admission): You did?

 

SHERLOCK (sincerely):  Yes.

 

(There’s a slight pause, as John presumably absorbs this new bit of information.)

 

JOHN (clearly struggling):  But you, umm…   You didn’t…  (he sucks in a deep breath)  Did you come?

 

SHERLOCK:  Oh…  No, I.  I just sort of stopped and listened to you after awhile.  Was that wrong?

 

JOHN (choking out a small laugh):  No.  Jesus, no.  It wasn’t wrong, I just… I meant that to be for you, and then.  I don’t know what happened.  I just got sort of—swept up in it.  I don’t usually get so—so fast.  I’ve usually got more self-control than that.  I feel…  Do you want to finish, or?

 

SHERLOCK (smiling):  I’m alright.

 

JOHN:  You sure?

 

SHERLOCK:  Oh yes.  It’s fine.  I promise.  More than fine.

 

JOHN: Really?

 

SHERLOCK:  Yes.  I’ve told you, I liked it.  I—I’ve never seen you like that before.  (clearly smiling)  Well—heard you.

 

JOHN (with a hesitant smile): Oh well—good—I guess…  What do you mean?

 

SHERLOCK:  No control.

 

JOHN (voice soft and a little small): And you like that?

 

SHERLOCK (softly, carefully): I like seeing you let go.

 

JOHN: Oh…

 

SHERLOCK: It was easier, maybe—this way.

 

JOHN: This way?

 

SHERLOCK:  With the distance.  Thinking about me, with me not there.

 

JOHN (clearly upset by this):  Oh Sherlock, no!

 

SHERLOCK (firm but gentle):  No, John, not like that.  (letting out a small sigh)  Listen to me.  Because of how it was when I was gone.  You told me, remember.  The first time you started to give in, the first time you really let yourself think of me in that way, act on that, was when I was gone, and I was a dream then, a fantasy.  I presume it was there, in that flat when all that began.  Am I right?

 

(Silence for a beat or two.  This is clearly difficult for John.)

 

JOHN:  Why are we talking about this?

 

SHERLOCK:  Do you not want to?

 

JOHN (voice tight teasing the edges of angry): Not really.

 

SHERLOCK (seemingly unperturbed by this):  Alright.  Whatever you like.

 

(Silence descends between them.  Not uncomfortable, not really.  But heavy, and pregnant with a kind of tension.  Something new.)

 

JOHN (sounding almost angry at himself):  Maybe.  Maybe you’re right.  I just—I don’t want you to think that…

 

(The quick inhalation on the other side of the line is unsteady.  It sounds almost as though John is fighting back tears.)

 

JOHN (frustrated and angry - but clearly more at himself than anyone):  Your not that, Sherlock.  That’s not all you are.  That was then.

 

SHERLOCK (patiently):  I know, John.

 

JOHN:  I love you.

 

SHERLOCK:  I know.

 

JOHN:  You think that?  You really think that I…  (inhales sharply)  You really think that I only really want you when you’re not here?

 

SHERLOCK (smiling fondly):  No.  You made that rather obvious these past few days.  I only wonder if perhaps it is easier to give yourself over fully when I’m an idea, a ghost, a fantasy, rather than fully flesh and blood.

 

JOHN (angrily):  No.

 

SHERLOCK:  Alright.

 

JOHN (sharply):  What’s that supposed to mean.

 

SHERLOCK:  Only that if you don’t want to talk about this, we won’t.

 

JOHN (sniffs angrily):  Did I say that?

 

SHERLOCK:  I thought that you…

 

JOHN (cutting him off with a snap):  Yeah, well stop fucking making assumptions.

 

(Sherlock is silent on the other end of the line.  Presumably waiting for John to continue.)

 

 JOHN (sighing heavily):  Sorry.

 

 SHERLOCK:  It’s alright.

 

JOHN:  No.  No, it’s not.  (huffing in frustration)  Listen, okay.  Maybe—maybe you have a kind of a point.  I don’t know.  Honestly, I don’t know.

 

SHERLOCK:  Alright.

 

JOHN (rushing on):  But, you are not just a ghost.  I mean, that’s not just what I want.  Maybe it was—maybe you were right, maybe being back here, with the history here, and having you at a distance, but being able to hear your voice, maybe that was a huge turn-on.  But—I don’t like that.  I don’t want that.  I mean I don’t want that to be the only time that I…

 

(rubbing a hand across his eyes in frustration)  You think I don’t let go with you?

 

SHERLOCK:  I think it’s hard for you.  It was…  I mentioned it—in the email I sent you this morning, actually.

 

JOHN:  Oh.

 

SHERLOCK:  So, it’s good to talk about it.  It’s better this way, maybe, better than just in an email.

 

JOHN:  Sherlock…

 

SHERLOCK (gently):  Yes, John.

 

JOHN:  I don’t want that.  I don’t want you to feel like I hold back.  I don’t want you to feel that I don’t love you.

 

SHERLOCK (smiling fondly):  I never said I thought that.

 

JOHN (voice thick with emotion):  Sure?

 

SHERLOCK (obviously sure):  Yes, John.  I know you love me.

 

JOHN:  I do, and I do.  I do hold back.

 

SHERLOCK:  I know.

 

JOHN:  I don’t know why.  I don’t want to.

 

SHERLOCK (smiling, gentle):  I know that too.

 

JOHN (small and frustrated):  I don’t know how to fix it.

 

SHERLOCK:  It doesn’t have to be immediate.  We’ve all the time in the world, now.

 

JOHN (mildly surprised at this):  And you’re alright with that?

 

SHERLOCK:  With what?  With working it out as we go along?  Of course, John.  Isn’t that what people do?

 

JOHN:  Yeah—I suppose…  Yes.

 

SHERLOCK (smiling):  Well, then…

 

JOHN (huffs out a small laugh):  Yeah, okay…  (silent for a beat, and then…)  You sure you’re okay?

 

SHERLOCK (fondly):  I’m fine.  Much better now I’ve heard your voice.  MUCH better now I’ve heard you come.

 

JOHN (laughs outright):  Right…  Well, then…

 

(Sherlock chuckles)

 

JOHN:  God, I love you…

 

SHERLOCK: I love you too.   You’ll tell me the day you plan to go to the local register?  I want to go the same day here, so that we don’t have to wait any extra time.

 

JOHN (smiling):  Yeah.  Yeah, I’ll tell you.  Probably tomorrow.  (a slight pause)  Definitely—definitely tomorrow.  First thing.

 

SHERLOCK (smiling warmly):  Good.  I don’t want to wait.

 

JOHN:  Me either.  I really mean that.  I know it was a bit of a rough start, me freaking out, and I’m sorry for that—really.  But, I want this now.  I want it so much…  I don’t know why I ever thought I didn’t.

 

SHERLOCK:  I think we’ve done enough waiting.

 

JOHN (softly):  Yeah…

 

SHERLOCK (gently):  Are you going to be alright?

 

JOHN:  Yeah, I’m okay.

 

SHERLOCK (apologetically):  I should take Gladstone for his walk.  He’s restless.  He misses you.  He’s been sitting by the front door all morning waiting for you.

 

JOHN (surprised and obviously pleased):  Has he?  Well that’s…  It’s nice to be missed.

 

SHERLOCK (emotional): You are.  So much.

 

JOHN:  I’ll be back home just as soon as I can, okay.

 

SHERLOCK: Yes, John.

 

JOHN:  Well, I’ll let you go take Gladstone on his walk.  Give him a scratch behind the ears for me.

 

SHERLOCK:  I will.

 

JOHN:  I love you.  I’ll read your email in just a bit, here, okay.

 

SHERLOCK: Alright.  I love you too.  I’ll talk to you later.

 

JOHN:  Yeah.  Bye, Sherlock.

 

SHERLOCK:  Good-bye, John.

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   7:28  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

 

I miss you.  More than I thought I would.  I hate this flat.  I hate everything it represents.  I hate that she and I lived here, ate together at this table, slept together in this bed.  I wish I could erase this flat, wipe it from the face of the earth.  I hate that it still stands, and it was Baker St. that had to burn.  

I miss that little flat sometimes.  It was more home to me than any place that had come before it.  I suppose that was mostly because you were there.  But it felt like an extension of you, filled with your things, and then slowly little bits of me creeping in.  The thought of it now gone, just ash, long cleared to make way for the new train line by now…  I hate it.  I hate that she took that from us.  I hate how much we’ve lost.

And I don’t want to lose anymore, Sherlock.  I want only to make gains.  That’s why I’m sending this first, before I text, or call.  I wanted time to gather my thoughts.  It seems to work for you…  I thought I’d try and see if I did as well.  

Ha!  Ella would be fucking pleased as punch!  I really hated that woman sometimes.  But, then—I suppose that probably says a lot more about me than it does about her, right?

Okay, I’ll stop stalling.

Today.  What happened this afternoon, and now this email.  I’m feeling pretty shite.

Why?  Because I just feel like I’m not what you want, Sherlock.  I feel like I’m never going to be able to love you the way you need.  

Oh, I know you say that you’re fine, that we’ll grow together, but that’s—I don’t know.  It’s hard for me to accept.  I want to be everything you want right now.  And don’t tell me I am.  That’s just overwrought, romantic bull shite and you know it!

Sorry…

Do you know how difficult it is for me to sit here and realise that in all the times we’ve been together, all the time we’ve spent the last few days, learning and enjoying each other, that you never once felt like I gave you my heart?!  

You have all my heart!  And I’m sorry if it doesn’t come across.  I don’t know what to do, what you need to see that.  

Maybe I’m not understanding what you mean at all.

I’m just frustrated.   And I’m sad, Sherlock.  I’m sad that I’m not good enough for you.  I want to be…

Leave it to you to be bloody brilliant at everything, including loving.  But just like not everyone can be the world’s greatest consulting detective, not everyone can be the world’s greatest lover.  And what I really don’t understand, is this: if I’m not satisfying you, if you’re not getting what you need, why are you still here?  Why in Christ’s name did you ask me to marry you?  Because you could get better elsewhere, you know.  Christ—you could probably have anyone you wanted.  You have looked in a mirror lately, yeah?

You know I’ve not done this much—with a bloke I mean.  I’ve not really done it at all, not really…  And I thought that would be okay, because you hadn’t been with anyone either.  But—fuck!  I just feel like you’ve had a master class, and I don’t even qualify for admission.  You’re damn right—I don’t speak this language!  You asked me if I wanted to learn.  Well, what if I can’t, Sherlock?  Have you thought of that?  What then?

Do you—do you leave then?  Because you’d be well within your rights.  Why stay if you’re not getting what you need.  Hell, why even marry me in the first place?!

I said that once already, didn’t I…

This email is a mess.  This is why I don’t do this, don’t write stuff out.  It’s supposed to help, and yet it never does. 

I just—God help me, I love you so much.  I never thought we could have this, be this.  It’s all been like some crazy dream.  I guess I just wonder if this is it.  If this is the other shoe.  It will drop, and it will ruin everything, somehow…

You remember a long time ago, I got angry at you—that night at Baker St., with Mary, after you broke out of that damn hospital, like a complete tosser, bleeding internally (God, I wanted to kill you for that!).  But, I got angry because I thought you were saying everything was my fault.  I know that’s not exactly what you meant, but—well, that’s true, really.  Everything usually is my fault.  ESPECIALLY when it comes to this kind of thing—relationships.  Everything is all my fault.

And I kind of knew, deep down, that I would ruin this somehow.  I just—I never thought it would be this soon, so quickly.

You’ve been the best part of my life, Sherlock.  You always will be.  No matter what happens, no matter where we end up.  I’ve loved you since the moment I clapped eyes on you, I think, and I’ll love you until the day I die.  And you deserve everything.  You deserve the best.  I want you to have that.  You deserve it.  You’re so fucking amazing, in every possible way.

Fuck.  I didn’t know this would be so hard…

Just…  Christ, I feel like I’m saying good-bye, and that’s not what this was supposed to be.  I was supposed to be trying to keep us moving forward.  Why does this feel like something ending, then? 

I don’t understand any of this.  Just—help me, okay.  You always know what to do, somehow…

Well, maybe not when it comes to playing games of deduction with criminal masterminds, or extracting documents from arsehole media magnates, or even something as simple as fixing the plumbing, but…  With us.…  Somehow you always know.

Help me, okay.

 

John

Chapter Text

 

Chapter Text

(left on the pillow next to John’s)

 

John,

I’m here.  Don’t worry.  I’m just outside in the lounge.

You’re sleeping now.  So soundly.  You can be such a fitful sleeper sometimes, when your heart is heavy or your head full of worries, haunted by old memories, old regrets.  But look at you now…  I wish you could see yourself.  Ten years gone in one night, or so it seems.  So many things you were holding onto, so many ghosts… 

Are they quiet now?  Are you a little lighter for it?

Oh John,  I can be such an unforgivable idiot at times.  You remind me often.  I admit it—it’s true.  But, I don’t mean to be with you—especially with you.  Nothing is more important than your heart.  Never is it more important to be 100% right than when it comes to you.

All those words I put down, all of them wrong, misunderstood.  That is not an accusation.  That is a fact.  And it is on me.  I should have been more clear, should have tried to express my thoughts and feelings more adequately, and if I could not, I should have held my tongue.  I should have showed you, perhaps, rather than trying to tell.  And in the future, I will endeavour to.  

I have things to learn, too, John.  There is a language you speak, which I do not always understand.  Last night I feel I started to learn it.  Perhaps there are times when you don’t want my words, don’t need my words.  Perhaps there are times when you need action instead.  

Sometimes you want me to push you to the edge of what you can bear, you want me to tease fear, and rage, and adrenaline to the surface, because it clears your head doesn’t it.  It’s only then that you can think.  And you have been languishing without cases, without the proper stimulation, haven’t you.  I’ve failed you in that regard.  You must tell me if you want them, need them.  Small villages are sordid little spots.  There can be plenty to occupy us there.  

But last night…I worried for you at first.  I pushed, and pushed you (perhaps too much—it is such a delicate line we walk).  I forced you to tell me everything.  And you were so angry—wild and cornered.  I’d not seen you so pushed to the brink, so wholly mired down with helpless grief and rage since that night at Baker St. you spoke of in your email.  You were angry for everything at once.  It was terrible and beautiful to see.  

Why did you hold onto it so long?!  

Oh, John…  So many ways I have wronged you.  So many words you’ve held—unspoken.  And now they are exorcised.  Did it let the light in a little.  It felt as though it did.  It felt as though you heard me at last, when I made my apologies.  They were no more or less sincere, more or less heartfelt than the myriad of times they came before.  But last night—last night they got in past the sentries, didn’t they?

I did leave you—so many times, and in so many ways, and it was unforgivable, no matter my reasons.  You know now, though, don’t you?  You know I’m not leaving?  You know it’s only you I want?  You know that it is not that you are ‘good enough’, but that you are quite simply put, ‘the one’.  The only one, John.  The only one I have ever wanted, and the only one I will ever want.  

And I don’t know why your mother left, or your sister.  I don’t know why James left.  I don’t know why even your father left you in a way, perhaps not physically, but certainly in every other way you can leave a child.  I don’t know why.  But I know this—I’m not leaving.

And I don’t know why you were never good enough for them.  Never brave enough for your mother, never strong or compliant enough for your father, never emotionally available enough for your sister, or your girlfriends, or your wife.  I can’t fathom it, John!  I can’t fathom you not being good enough.  You are perfect.  

I don’t say that as a blind, love-sick fool.  I know that no one is truly perfect.  But you know what I mean, don’t you?  You are perfect as you are.  You are perfect in your stubbornness, and in your rage, you are perfect in your innate goodness, and in your courage, in how you try again, and again, and again, and never give up.  You are perfect in your ability to survive against all odds, despite bearing more loss and pain than any one person should ever have to bear.  You are perfect to me.

I hope you know now, that I never meant for a single word of what I said to make you feel inadequate.  I never meant that you weren’t enough.  You were.  You are.  You will always be enough.  More than enough.  You will always be my everything.  

My words were only meant to convey this one thing—you are the bravest ,and kindest, and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing.  And you have had to be strong and brave your whole life.  Your whole life you have felt that you have to prove, to everyone—I’m enough, good enough, strong enough!  You have felt, it seems, that you must prove yourself in order to win the right to something as simple and elemental as love.

Stop trying.  You are enough.  You have always been enough.  And no matter what you do, what words you say, how often you ‘fuck up’, in your estimation, you are enough.  You were born enough, born deserving of every ounce of love this broken world could possibly gift you.  You are loved, quite simply, because you are you—John Watson.

John Watson has always been the best of men, and always will be, and you will always have all my love, and there is nothing you need to do to keep it. 

Last night I gave myself to you—fully—and you took, and took, and took.  You took things I had not imagined you wanting.  I think you surprised yourself.  You were so hungry.  You see.  It’s what I mean—starving.  Are you a little more sated now?  I hope it helped to fill up the yawning, craving, empty places.  Though quite selfishly, I hope it didn’t fill them too much.  I would like to sample it all again, as soon as you feel adequate pangs.

You surprised me in the best possible ways, and you see, that is one of the things I love most about you, John.  You are so deliciously complex.  You will continue to surprise me until the day we die, I imagine—a mystery continuously to be solved.  How fortunate a man, I am!

And now I suppose you had best come out and have your breakfast.  I’ll make you some coffee, and we can pack some boxes, if you like.  The sooner we’re rid of the horrid little flat the better for everyone, yes?

All and ever yours,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(hand delivered)

 

Sherlock,

 

This is unusual, I know.  I’m sitting right here across the table from you, and handing you a letter.  You’re probably wondering what’s going on.  Or, knowing you, you’ve most likely got it all figured out already.  But, let me have this, okay.  I’ve got a lot I want to say.  A LOT.  And you know I’m pants with words at the best of times.  Probably won’t do much better here, but I’m going to try.

I’ve done a lot of really stupid things in my life.  I’ve been a real coward for a lot of it.  But, with all the weak and idiotic stuff I’ve done, there is one thing that I know, undeniably, I’ve done right:  

I said ‘yes’ to you.

All the ways, and all the times I’ve said ‘yes’ to you—those were the defining moments.  Those were the moments that counted.

That first day…  I could have walked away that day.  I thought about it (for about two seconds).  But I knew from the moment you walked over, took my phone from my hand, and asked, “Afghanistan or Iraq?”  that I was going to fall in love with you.  Yeah.  I knew it.  I knew it and I fought it for a long time, because it felt so powerful, so inevitable, and I was so fucking scared.  But in that moment, I knew that if I turned away from you, I would regret it for the rest of my life, a life that probably wouldn’t have gone on much longer, truth be told.  

In that very first deduction, you gave me a gift no one else had ever dared, ever cared enough to give me.  You saw me—wholly, fully.  You saw me, you reflected that ‘me’ back, and then you gave that cheeky little wink and invited me to live with you.  You are the only person who has ever seen me for everything I am and wanted me anyway.  You are the only person who has ever forced me to see myself, and then urged me to look again.  You not only showed me myself, but you showed me the ‘me’ that you saw.  And that’s a me I’m still getting used to.  That’s a me I want to settle into, and learn to accept.  

I guess at the core of it all, you gave me hope.  You gave me a reason.  A reason for everything.  For living?  Sure.  But more than that.  You gave me a reason for trying.  You gave me a reason to be brave.  You gave me a reason to love.  You gave me a reason to grow.

I’m still pants at that—the growing.  It’s going to take a very long time.  I guess you know that, though.  I think you know that better than I do—you’ve always done.  But you know, and you stay.  You know, and you reach down, and you take my hand, and you say, ‘Not alone.  Never alone.’  And I believe you.  I do.  I didn’t at first.  It was hard.  You’d left me, and lied to me so many times.  But, I do believe you now, and I’m saying ‘yes’ to you again.

I’m saying ‘yes’ to spending the rest of my life with you.  I would have done that anyway, you know.  When I got your letter a few months ago (hard to believe only a few months?!) something inside me knew that I would come home to you.  I’ve always wanted you, you know.  From that very first ‘yes’.  And it was always, only going to be yes’s between us.

I said ‘yes’ a few days ago, in that bed at the top of the stairs.  I said ‘yes’ to marrying you.  Because I knew it was important to you, because I saw how much it meant to you, and I could do that for you.  I wanted you to be happy, to have everything you need.  That night I said ‘yes’ for you.

Last night something shifted.  I came apart.  It scared me more than anything has every scared me in my life.  And that’s saying a lot.  You know that.  You who seem to see and know everything.  You know how scared I’ve been.  But last night, was something more.  And I’ll talk about it more in a little bit, or maybe a lot in the days ahead, but for now, I just want to say that something changed last night.  Something sort of—fell away, and it felt like something new was starting.  I woke up this morning, I read your letter, and I knew what I wanted, with absolute clarity, for maybe the first time in my life, and for the first time in my life, there was no fear.

So, tonight, I’m saying ‘yes’ for me.  

Tonight I’m saying ‘yes’ to us.

At this point you should probably stop reading, because I have something I want to give you.  I hope it’s alright.  We didn’t discuss it.  But—well, just put this down and see, okay.

*

*

*

*

*

*

God, I hope you said ‘yes’ all over again.  Otherwise this is going to be pretty awkward.  

Who am I kidding.  Of course you did.  So let me just explain a few things.

The rings.

I know we’re supposed to wait.  Exchange them at the ceremony.  That’s over twenty-eight days from now.  I don’t want to wait.  I’m not going to change my mind.  You’re mine, and I’m yours already.  So why wait.  Would you wear it now, with me?

I didn’t get them to match.  I thought that might be a little too precious.  White gold suits you better anyway, I think.  It would have been platinum if I could have afforded it, but I wanted to do this on my own, Sherlock, out of my own pocket.  I know you don’t always understand that.  You’ve kind of got a weird relationship with money, to be honest, but just trust me when I say it was important to me to do this (and I’ll try to explain why in more detail later if you insist, which knowing you, you probably will).

As for the engravings….  Just bees.  

Thought you’d like that.  But, let me explain…  

I loved your little slip of the finger texting me this morning.  I was actually already planning on getting the rings, but I’d not thought of getting them engraved, and then that little slip of yours came along, and I got to thinking about you and your damned bees.  I got thinking about the way your face lights up when you talk about them, how when you first showed me the hives, your whole face brightened in the same way it used to when Greg would hand you a triple murder, or a serial killer case.

And then I thought about my gram.  

This is my mum’s mum, now…  I wish you could have met her.  She was the only good memory I have growing up, and she died when I was ten.  My gram kept bees.  She loved those bees almost as much as you do.  And when I was small, she’d tell me stories about them.  She’d tell me about how important it was for every household to have bees.  ‘Bees bring sweetness to a house, to a marriage, to a family,’ she always said.  She told me about how important it was to tell the bees the things that really mattered: births, deaths, love, marriage.  If you didn’t tell them, they were likely to leave you, and take their sweetness with them.  Old, ridiculous superstition, I know.  But best not to take any chances, yeah?  Best to invite the bees.

She told me something else about the bees, too.  She told me that they had special meaning to ancient cultures.  I don’t remember which ones, now.  You probably know all this already.  But let me tell you anyway, okay.  I want to tell you what the bees mean to me.

Bees, she said, used to symbolise resurrection, immortality, and accomplishing the impossible.  Well—those things amongst a bunch of others…  But, those were the ones I remembered today, standing in that jewellery shop.

Resurrection, because you’ve come back from the dead for me twice—after Bart’s, after Mary shot you.  And I came so close to leaving you too, when she shot me, and last night.  Last night was a resurrection of a kind.  I’ve never told anyone the things I told you.  I hated it in the moment.  It felt like dying.  And maybe it was, in a way.  I won’t lie I still feel kind of shite today.  But it felt like dying, and today something is different.  I don’t know what.  But it feels like I’m living, and I’m living for me, and I’m living for us.

And that was accomplishing the impossible, Sherlock.  It sure feels like it anyway.  We’ve both accomplished the impossible so many times, and in so many ways to stay together, to keep this friendship and this love alive.  And we’re here, now, together, against all odds.

Immortality, because—well, because this is forever isn’t it?  You feel like a part of me.  I don’t know how to be without you.  When you were dead, I lived a half-life.  When you came back for me, I was fully alive again.  You say you dim without me.  My light goes out without you too.  So, yeah, I feel like this is forever.  I feel like no matter where, or when, we would always somehow find one another.  We would always be the only one for each other.  

You are for me, Sherlock.  You’re the only one.  You came back to me, against all odds, you accomplished the impossible, and you will always be here, always, no matter what.

I promise you the same.

So—bees.

And now, I think that we should have a sip-or-two more of the VERY expensive bottle of wine Angelo no doubt insisted upon gifting us, and finish the pudding which I insisted on ordering, and then we should go home.  

And not to that flat.  That flat has never been my home.  No.  Let’s pack up a few of our things, take that rental car you drove up here, and just go home to Sussex.  I want to make love to you in our bed, in our house tonight.  I want to show you all the ways you’re mine.  

Say ‘yes’.  Just one more ‘yes’ for me.

 

John 

Chapter Text

(left on john’s bedside table)

01/09/15

 

John,

Good-morning.  If you’ve found this on your bedside table, than I’ve gone to the local register to give notice.  I wish that I could have done it yesterday, the same day you did, so that we didn’t have to wait even one extra day, but I suppose it can’t be helped.  

I am gripped by irrational fears that something might come along and snatch you from me, before the deed is done.  Absolutely ridiculous fear, I completely acknowledge, but I can’t help it, John.  I’ve never wanted anything or anyone as much as I want you!  Every time I wake in the middle of the night, and roll over to see you sleeping there beside me, in a bed we consider ‘ours’, I am overwhelmed with fondness and gratitude, and haunted by an equal measure of fear.  Good things never happened to me—until you.

Promise me that there will be no more leaving.  You will hire people to sell the flat, to pack the things.  Let’s promise to never spend another night apart.  I’m hesitant to even let you out of my sight.  Your leaving on Sunday for London was so painful I thought my heart was actually breaking.  Oh, not in that sort of sentimental way people speak of in love letters and greeting cards, but really, truly ceasing to function.  The pain was real, visceral.  It physically pains me to be apart from you, John!

I realise that never being out of one another’s sight is highly unrealistic.  But, having you home again, sharing our bed, it feels right.  It feels more right than anything.  Let’s endeavour to soak up as much of one another as we can, to only be apart when absolutely necessary.

We have so many years to make up for.  And not just the years we were unaware of our feelings, or were afraid to embrace or express them, not just those two years we were apart, but all the years that came before we had even met.  How very much I wish that I had known you all my life.  How much we have missed. 

I lay in bed beside you this morning, I looked at you.  I looked at the softness of your features as you slept.  How content, how beautiful you looked.  You have always been ridiculously attractive, John.  Did you know?  I feel I don’t tell you enough.  I will endeavour to do better in that regard.  But, I looked at you, and at your hand draped over your chest, and that ring on your finger.  I reached over and held your hand in mine, so that I might see those rings together, side-by-side on our enmeshed fingers.  It felt like a dream.

I wanted to wake you up with kisses, to coax sighs and moans from your lips, just as you had from mine the night before.  But, you were sleeping so soundly.  I let you.  I came out here to the lounge, and listened to the day come, and I started writing this letter.

I feel there are so many things I want to say.  A myriad of details on why everything that has happened these last two days has seemed miraculous, has moved me, shaken me to the core, but all of this has happened in ways I can’t quite seem to articulate.  You are sitting in some deep part of my heart, now, John.  I feel that you have always been there, and will always be there, but something has changed.  I feel you are here, you are not leaving, and I’m terrified.  Yes, quite terrified that some horrible thing will swoop down and take you away!  

Oh, I’ve said this, haven’t I.  Perhaps twice in this letter so far?  I’m sorry, John.  Quite sorry.  I don’t know what has come over me.

Perhaps when I return from the register office, we might—oh, I don’t know…  Gladstone is still with the vicar, and I should go pick him up, but—might we take a little more time alone, you and I?  Might we?  I feel I want to taste you, touch you, memorise and mark you.  I want to crawl into your lap like a entitled cat, and demand all your attentions.  Selfish, selfish, selfish…  But, I am hungry for you.

It was different last night.  Did you feel it, too?  The way you opened to me, and the way I collapsed into you.  I woke this morning ravenous for you.  I don’t know what you’ve done, John.  I just want more.  Tell me if I demand too much, properly chastise me. I know I can be so tiresome.

Well the register office will open very soon, so I must dash.  There is nothing more irksome than waiting in queues.  Perhaps I will have returned before you are awake.

Yours,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on the tea table beside John’s chair)

02/09/15

 

John,

 

I’m out with the bees.

I filled the kettle.  You only need to switch it on to make your tea.  

I hope you slept well.  You looked so peaceful when I woke; I curled in and around you, and just listened to you breathe.  You’ve been sleeping so well the last couple of nights.  It pleases me.

I love the way your body is attuning to mine, the way you turn toward me, even in your sleep, when I reach out for you or draw near.  This morning you rolled onto your side and wrapped an arm around me.  You pulled me close, and wove fingers through my hair, all while still sleeping.  

I tried desperately to settle back into sleep, but it wouldn’t come.  I didn’t want to miss a moment.  So I lay and listened your heart beating, memorised the weight of your fingertips against my scalp, the sensation of your legs tangled with mine beneath the blankets, the scent of you, musty with sleep, that lovely tang at your throat, the scent that makes me hungry, makes me want to reach out and taste you, over and over again.

I’ve been memorising and cataloging you for years, did you know?  Do you mind?  Every sort of small detail, from how you take your tea and coffee, to when you like to shower, to how your moods effect which shirt or jumper you choose to wear for the day.  I’ve been memorising and cataloging you for years, but now there seems to be some new urgency.  Every little touch feels like a gift—something rare and precious that cannot last, and I’m desperate to make a permanent memory of it.

The smile you had yesterday afternoon when I walked through the front door, warm and eager with anticipation, that smile that makes something in my chest twist and ache, a beautiful ache, something I only feel when I look at you.  That smile makes me light up, John.  Someday, when you are gone, I will have that smile to hold onto, to take out and dust off when days are bleakest.  You gift me with so many things I don’t deserve.

The way you took me into your arms, and kissed me before I was barely through the door,  how you stripped me bare, and anointed my body with kisses, worshipped me with lips, and hands, and cock.  I can barely grasp the reality of it.  I still think, sometimes, that I have imagined every moment.  But, I leave you these little notes, and letters, and you read them, and smile, and get up to kiss me again, and I have proof that this is real.  

Never stop, John.  I beg you, never stop.  I don’t know what I will do without you, now.  I don’t think that I could survive it.

Something has been happening since the moment I realised I loved you, something that feels as though it is knitting me more and more tightly to you with each passing day.  This has only intensified a hundred fold since you have come home to me, and then the other night at Angelo’s when you surprised me (yes, truly surprised me!) with those rings, and your letter, and your words, then it grew so strong it felt that there was no reversing it, no going back.  

It’s not that I have ever, or would ever want to go back.  I can’t fathom it!  Could never fathom it, really, not from the moment you stepped foot in my life.  But to know it like this, now—to feel it in your bones, your blood, in every cell, as though you are a part of me, and I of you, as though if you ceased to exist, then so would I—it’s so huge, somehow, so momentous.  I’m afraid.

What would happen if I lost you?

I lay in bed beside you this morning, looking at you, listening to you, drawing in your scent, and I thought of you ceasing to exist, and I panicked.  It’s why I had to get up, come out here, and write this letter, and then when the panic would not subside, I required distraction.  So now I am going out to check the hives.  It’s methodical and exacting.  It usually serves to soothe me.  Hopefully I will be back to my self when I return to the house.

Feed Gladstone for me, won’t you.  I didn’t before I went out to the garden.

 

Love,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

02/09/15

 

Sherlock,

 

You are an unforgivable idiot, and I am very angry with you, you know.  You know better!  That is the last, and I mean LAST time that you go bee tending when you are distracted.  You know to cover up, you know to properly smoke, and I hope to god that you know well enough to not go about running into hives and nearly knocking them over!!  What am I going to do with you?

You’re lucky things weren’t worse.  That’s a moderate grade reaction you’re having, and you’re going to be a lovely sight for a few days.  I should take you out and show you off, you could scare off all the neighbourhood children.

I hope your nap helps.  I’m sitting here keeping an eye on you, because you scared me half to death when your face swelled so quickly.  I’m keeping antihistamines and epinephrine around after this.  Nothing will convince me you aren’t working your way up to some sort of more severe allergy.  And YES I know there’s no proof that one moderate grade reaction will lead to more severe ones later on, but I don’t care.  I love you, you idiot, and I’d rather not take any risks.

I’m so angry at you right now!  Just look at you…

But since I’ve got the afternoon to myself now, and your letters from yesterday and today sitting here in my lap, I figured I’d take the time to properly respond with one of my own.

You need to stop talking about me leaving.  There’s a ring on your finger that confirms the very opposite.  I’m not leaving.  I’m never leaving!

Are you talking about someday forty or fifty years from now, when we’re old and grey?  Well, I refuse to think about that right now.  We’ve just begun!  Why dwell on the ‘what-ifs’ far in the future?  If I have the choice we will die together, in our sleep, wrapped in one another’s arms.  That’s what I’m going to hope for, at any rate, and I don’t want to sit about dwelling on any bleak alternatives in the mean time.

Listen, I don’t mean to dismiss how you are feeling.  I guess I just don’t understand where it is coming from.  Why this, Sherlock?  Why all of a sudden?

I love you.  I’m not leaving, okay.

And you’re not being demanding of my affections.  It’s not selfish to want what you want.  You may have all the love, all the touch you like, whenever you like, and for as long as you like.  You may touch me in all the ways, in any way, large or small, at any time—as you pass by me around the house or in the garden, as you lie beside me in bed, as you join me in the shower in the mornings, or sidle up behind me while I shave and brush my teeth.  You may ask for it.  

Ask for what you want, by all means!  I love that, Sherlock.  I love when you ask, because then I know exactly what you want, exactly when you want it.  I’m still learning you.  I can’t intuit  what you need all the time quite yet.  So help me, yeah?  Be as ‘selfish’ as you like.  God, I love it when you are!  

You are always so tentative, so hesitant.  If you feel you’re giving to me, you seem to be a little more confident, but if you want something…  Well heaven forbid!  It doesn’t have to be that way, you know.   

You have to help me understand.  I want to understand.  

And you have to believe me when I tell you that I DO NOT MIND you asking for things.  For Christ’s sake, you can drag me into the bedroom and take me apart whenever you feel the urge.  Heaven knows I’m not all that busy at the moment.  I’m enjoying this!  I’m enjoying this time to just sort of bask in you, in us, in what we’re becoming now.

So, I guess all this to say, that you’re not to ever feel that you are asking too much, and you need to stop dwelling on my leaving, because I’m not going anywhere, and you need to stop being so careless with those damn bees!

And now I’m going to get into bed beside you, and listen to you breathe, because my heart is still racing with adrenaline a little after this scare, and I just need the comfort of hearing your unlabored breathing, of knowing you’re fine.

 

Your VERY long-suffering (and adoring) husband,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

03/09/15

 

Good-morning,

 

I hope you’re feeling better.  Your face looked much less swollen when I woke up this morning, which is good, because I miss kissing those lips of yours.  Please be more careful, Sherlock.  I’ve only got one you, and you’re everything to me.

The estate agent called first thing.  She’s arranged to have some movers come in and clear out the flat.  She said they could store or bin everything.  I told her to bin it.  Everything I wanted I took the night of our dinner at Angelo’s.   They’ll start walk-throughs next week.  I’ll need another fitting for that suit, yes?  And also to pick up the authority document.  We may need to go into London once more before Greg and Molly’s wedding.  We can go together, make a day of it, yeah?  Sound good?

Speaking of Greg and Molly.  We’re going to need witnesses for this little ceremony of ours, you know.  Have you thought of who?  I thought Greg and Molly might be nice.  Or maybe Mike Stamford?  He did introduce us, after all.  

As for other invitees: I’ll invite my sister, and she won’t come, of course.  She’ll be in Italy with India by then.  But other than that, I don’t know who else I would invite.  You’ll have your parents, of course.  I was thinking about that.  Do they know about us, Sherlock?  Have you told them?

Sorry about all the details.  I just woke up this morning, and realised that there is so much we’ve not talked about.  There will need to be vows, and I guess we’ll have to take these rings off only to exchange them again.  You need to tell me what you’ve been thinking.  I’d prefer nothing too elaborate, but I want it to be what you want, too.  I just want to be done with it all, I think.  To be settled, to have that fresh start, and everything from before sort of erased, you know.  Oh, not you—never you.  But, the other things.

I’ve been thinking of closing down the blog after we get married.  I haven’t posted on there in months, anyway, but I thought a nice good-bye post might be in order, right after we marry, and then close up shop for good on the London side of things.  I suppose I could start a new one for cases here, if you think we are likely to get many, or if you think that people here would even be inclined to follow it.

I love you.  I love this cottage.  I love Gladstone.  I even love your bees.  But, I woke up this morning to the lovely scent of sheep shite on the breeze, discovered we were out of coffee, and remembered that the shops here don’t open until 9:00, and I was suddenly reminded of how much I hate the country!  

Whatever are we going to do to occupy ourselves?  However did you keep from going mad with boredom all these months?!  God, I feel like a right tosser for saying something like this, but I hope to Christ someone gets murdered soon.  I could use a little fun.

Oh, but good news is…  I found a Thai take-away place here!  They only deliver Friday and Saturdays, 6pm - 10pm, but I figure that’s better than nothing.  So what do you say?  Date Saturday night?  Maybe you could get us some minor little case, and then we could have a picnic of Thai take-away in front of the hearth, just like old times, eh?  

Don’t worry, the swelling will all have gone down by then, and you’ll be back to your beautiful self.  Yes, I know you, Sherlock, and I know there is no way I’m getting you out of the house and face-to-face with clients otherwise.

What if I come in there, and kiss everything better, and tell you over, and over how gorgeous you are?  Might you be persuaded to rent a car (we really should buy one, now we’re out in the middle of nowhere,you know) and take a drive out to the beach with me later today?  We could go in the evening, after most of the tourists are gone, if you prefer.  Or, you could wear a bag over your head if you are going to be extra tetchy about it.  Honestly, you realise you’re probably better looking than most people around here, even with a face full of beestings, right?  Ah, never mind.  I’ll find a way to persuade you.  Promise.

Well, I’ll just leave this letter on your bedside table, as usual then, shall I?  This is becoming a bit of a morning tradition with you and me.  I think I like it.

 

Yours,

John

Chapter Text

(left on John’s bedside table)

 

04/09/15

 

Good-morning,

 

I am out with the bees.  YES I will take all the necessary precautions this time.  YES I will adequately smoke, and make sure my wrists and ankles are covered.  YES I will veil and not carelessly knock into the hives.  I promise.  I promise that I will always take the proper care from here on out, because I know you were made anxious by the seriousness of my reaction, and I don’t want to worry you needlessly.  If you look out the window right now, you will see I am being quite well-behaved…

You take such a care for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever told you how deeply and profoundly I have been touched by that.  You always have, since the day we met.  That first night, that first case—you saved me from my own recklessness.  If you had not come along I would have taken that pill, John.  And I and I am hesitant to admit it, but it is possible I was wrong.  What would have happened had you not been there?

You grouchily get after me about feeding myself, slamming plates of food under my nose and threatening to force it down my throat when I’ve not eaten for a day or two, or herding me into bed when I’ve been up for three days straight.  I must admit that sometimes I stretched that out and made as much fuss as possible because you would practically wrestle me into my room if you had to, and I thrilled at the sensation of your hands on my body. Yes, it’s true.  Sometimes I would be difficult just to earn the not inconsiderable thrill of your chastisements.

But you take care of my heart, too, John.  Don’t think I haven’t noticed.  You used to care so much what other people thought of me.  I would see you grow ferocious in your defence of my person and character, and at the time, could never quite understand it.  Why should you care?  Now I know why.  Perhaps I knew why even then.  I don’t know.  But, I do appreciate it, John.  I do appreciate you.

Yesterday evening you forced me out of the house despite my general discomfort and hideousness.  You bore my whinging and complaining with resigned good humour (mostly).  And you were right.  Birling Gap was a good idea.  Dark and wild with that storm coming in over the sea.  Not a soul around.  

You kissed me tenderly, carefully under that angry, black sky.  You pulled me close and let me share the warmth of your body as the heavens emptied around us and we hurried back to the car, and then you kissed every inch of me that wasn’t bee-stung and sore as we waited for the storm to pass.  Kissed me until the windows were foggy with the heat of our bodies, and we were both breathless and flushed.

The way you looked at me when the rain passed, and you pulled back, at last.  The smile on your face—all the true, deep, sincere joy in that smile you graced me with—it made me feel, for a moment, as though everything that had come before then, everything we had been through, all the losses, the pain, the separation, all of it had been worth it if it meant I could have this now.  If I could have you so happy.  If I could have my heart, and arms, and life so full of you.

It has been worth it.  Every difficult moment.  And i would do it all again, if I had to.  I would do anything if it meant I could see you, have you like this.  

There is a settling to you, John.  Something I hadn’t expected.  I know that night in London was difficult.  You don’t talk about things, not like that, not the things that bury themselves so deep they get lost long before we are wise enough to know how to take them out and examine them.  You have always hidden from yourself.  You admitted as much that night.  But, you tried.  You tried and you succeeded in finally putting into words some of the deep things.  And I need you know that I realise how very difficult that was.  I know the effort, the courage, the staggering trust that took.  And I love you for it. 

And you have been different since then.  I know you sense it too.  But, I wanted you to know that I have observed it, and cherished it.  I love to see the way you have stopped holding yourself back.  You were always holding yourself so much in check.  At times I thought it must be exhausting.  Now you are unencumbered and free, and you look happy, John—truly happy.  Are you?  Tell me you are.  Nothing brings me more joy than seeing you happy.

As for the wedding—I’d not known until yesterday that you had been fussing and worrying over the details.  Honestly, you seemed to have so little care for a single detail at your last wedding, that I sincerely thought it didn’t matter to you.  But, you are right, we do need to decide precisely where, when, who.  Shall we sit down today and finalise some of those details?  If it will set your heart more at ease, then let’s.  I wouldn’t want you to feel that I don’t care.  Oh, I do, John—so much!  And I want whatever you want.  

The highlight of it all for me, is making you mine, and you making me yours.  

With all the details I pored over for your last wedding, all the things I fought so hard to make perfect, in the end, the only thing that seemed to matter was you.  On the day of it, I saw nothing and no one else.  We could have been stood in the centre of an abandoned warehouse, in nothing but sackcloth, and it still would have been the most beautiful moment of my life, because you were there, looking up at me with such sincere fondness, admiration, love.

But let’s do finalise everything.  I think you are right.  I think it is necessary, and it will help to lift a little of this anxiousness and eagerness, help to dispel this frankly ridiculous, and frustrating fear of mine that everything will fall apart, and you will be snatched from me again.  Logically I know this is highly unlikely, but my heart refuses to hear reason.

Do come out to the garden and tell me that you are awake.  I want to kiss you, and sit with you awhile.

 

Yours wholly,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

  

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on John’s bedside table)

05/09/15

 

John,

 

Let me preface this letter by saying that I am very angry, so angry I could barely sleep for all the emotion weighing me down.  I am going to consider and measure my words, but there are likely to be things said, that I may amend later, things said in the heat of this anger.  I do not mean to hurt you, but I do mean to speak my piece.  Whether you truly want to hear it, is quite another matter.

I considered not bothering with this letter.  I’m not sure you actually want to hear what I have to say anymore.  Perhaps you never wanted to.  It feels like you’re leaving.  It feels, in some horrible way as though you are already gone, or perhaps were never mine to begin with.

Perhaps you will say I’m overreacting.  Perhaps I am.  I feel that I am always overreacting where you are concerned.  I cannot stay dispassionate, disconnected.  I cannot let logic rule as I can in so many other areas of my life.  

Two nights ago when you went out and didn’t come back, when you stopped answering my texts, my mind assaulted me with an endless, graphic onslaught of possibilities: death, suffering, loss.  I know, off the top of my head, of sixty-seven separate ways a man can die on a night-time, country stroll.  All of them presented themselves.  All of them haunted me.  And beneath that was a horrible, suffocating aloneness.  This feeling of being thrust again into a cold world with no soft place, no harbour, no home.  I faced the horrifying reality of what would happen to me if you were gone, and I panicked.

You saw that when you stumbled home in the wee hours, unsteady on your feet, speech soft around the edges with drink.  And perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to talk to you then, but you cannot imagine my relief at seeing you.  I loved you so much in that moment, loved you because you were alive, and well, and there—truly there, breathing, speaking, simply existing!  But, I hated you, too—for ignoring me, for making me think you were lying in a ditch or alley somewhere bleeding and alone, when really you were only off hiding, yes hiding from what you were truly angry about.

So yes, perhaps I should not have put on such an appalling display.  But you accused me of overreacting.  Overreacting!  As though you never have to anything, ever.  You say you want the real me, the ‘human’ not the ‘machine’, and yet my tears that night were an offence to you—my relief, my anger—all an offence!  

Well, I won’t apologise for them.  Why?  Because they were true.  In that moment they were true and honest.  And I cannot say the same for you anymore, John.  You are not true and honest with me, and you are not true and honest with yourself.

I wouldn’t speak to you yesterday.  Why?  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t look at you, see the face of the person I love, and know that you didn’t care how your actions affected me, that you didn’t want to hear my thoughts, my heart.  I couldn’t look at you trying to pretend like you could make it all better with a few simple words, and a warm plate of food.  I wouldn’t speak to you because I knew that I couldn’t trust myself to remain calm and dispassionate.  I didn’t want to devolve into shouts and tears as I had the night before.  It accomplished nothing then, there was nothing to suggest that that would change.

And so, two nights ago you raged at me for my panic, my passion and anger, and last night you raged at me for holding them back.  Which is it to be then, John?  You don’t want man or machine.  Is there anything I can do to truly please you?  

Oh, and I have tried you know!  Everything I have done, every word I have said, these last few months has been nothing but an attempt to please you, to make you happy, comfortable, safe.  But it isn’t it enough, is it…  I don’t think that it will ever be enough.  And I don’t know what to do about that, John.  I don’t.

The things you texted to me last night.  They are there, on my phone, in black and white.  They are so much worse than words drunkenly spit out in a moment passionate anger, because they took time to type.  You took time to consider each word before you put it down, before you pressed send.  You meant each and every one!

Firstly, that I know nothing of you or your heart, that my comments about you and your sister were merely assumptions, based on nothing.  As though I do not know you by now!  As though I have not studied every detail of your heart, your mind, your body!  As though I do not know your inner workings even better than I know my own!  I worship you, John!  Body and soul!  I make it my job and my joy to know.  But no, to you that is nothing!

And then that night a week ago, when you opened to me, when you gave me your secrets, your soul.  All a mistake?  Because I am untrustworthy?  I went to see your sister to urge her to come to your wedding, to make you happy, and she (yes SHE, not ME) said that she could not come because she did not feel you were marrying the right person.  Somehow that is making me untrustworthy?!  Explain that to me, John, because I don’t understand.

I have apologised to you for infractions in my past.  I have done my utmost to not repeat my mistakes, but if you are to hold me accountable, make me suffer and pay, for every wrong, no matter how far in the past, whenever it happens to come to light, if you are going to leave any time I make a mistake in our future, no matter how much I fight to make it right, how am I to ever settle into this love? 

And as for your sister, and her insinuations, and your marriage…  I have many things I want to say about that.  I said some of them two days ago when the issue first arose, and you made it more than clear that you didn’t want to hear a word.  If your sister is a sore subject, and you want to make it off-limits, then I will respect that.  But as for your marriage, the things you said regarding your motivations for entering into it in the first place, that does affect me, and I will say my piece, if I feel I must.  

Last night you texted that if I agreed with Harry that you had just married Mary to cover up your attraction for me, that I was wrong.  You were going to go on when I stopped you, and I’d not like to think of what you were going to say.  But, I will say this: I don’t think that your fondness for Mary was only an excuse.  I do think you cared. I do think she helped drag you out of a dark place, a dark place that was my fault.  And you felt gratitude, and love for her for that—for awhile. 

But after I came back, you put off proposing again for months, you put off the wedding as long as possible, you were involved in the planning of it, not at all.  You spent more time at Baker St. in the evenings leading up to that wedding than you did at your flat with your fiancée.  You spent your honeymoon texting me, and talking to me in the comments section of your blog.  You were married only a few months and you were already bicycling to work alone, and keeping bags packed in the hopes that I would whisk you off on some overnight adventure, and yet…

If Mary had not turned out to be what and who she was in the end, where would we be now, do you think?  Would you still be dancing that line?  Would she still be the one you shared a life with--all the little things?  Would she still be the one on your arm at boring social events, and any time you were in the public eye.  Would I still be simply your colleague.  Would I still be evenings and weekends?  Would I always be your dirty little secret?  Am I still?  You said you didn’t know how to tell your sister about us?  How difficult is that really, John?

I thought I knew what I was to you now.  I thought that we had come so far.  I thought that I meant something to you, and now I question whether I have ever known anything at all.  Do you even love me?  Do you truly want to spend the rest of your life with me?  With me, John—not with some strange facsimile of me that you have built up in your mind and heart!  With me—flawed, horrible, an utter failure more times than not.  But a man who is trying, who will always try for you—for us.

I would do almost anything for you, John.  The thought of losing you is paralysing, horrifying.  The thought that perhaps all of this has been a terrible lie, and that I have never had you in the first place, makes me feel physically ill.  

But, all that being said, there is one thing I will not do for you, John.  I will not stand by and continue to try and build whatever this is between us on a foundation of half-truths, of secrets, of evasion.  There is only one way forward, that I can see.  We tell one another the truth, as far as we are aware of it, and we promise one another safety in that.  I’m not sure that’s possible.  You tell me.

Right now I don’t feel that you want the truth, either from me, or from yourself.  I don’t feel safe to speak as it seems that any misstep will only lead to you leaving.  I can’t live like that.  So tell me, John.  What are we to do?

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

(delivered via post to the cottage at the top of the hill)

10/09/15

 

Sherlock,

 

I know that this response has been five days coming.  That’s probably five days too late.  I know that I responded poorly to your last letter.  I’ll admit that.  I responded very poorly.  Walking away again was not—well, it’s wasn’t what I’d planned, wasn’t even really want I wanted, I don’t think.  That probably doesn’t make any sense to you, because walk out I did.  But the last few days I’ve spent here at the inn have given me time to think, really think, and to hopefully find the words I need to tell you everything.

I hope you’ll be patient with me.  You know I hate this sort of thing.  You know it’s difficult for me.  But, I wanted to start off this letter with one unwavering fact: I love you.  That’s the thing I need you to know from the start.  

I told you that I was a mess before I moved here.  You see—I was right.  I’m not using that as an excuse.  But I’m telling you that even though I am committed to you, to us, to this relationship, it’s not going to be easy.  It may never be easy.  You need to decide if you can be alright with that. 

That being said, let me address your letter.  I’m going to be kind of methodical about it, address it verbatim.  I don’t want that to come across as cold.  I don’t want you to feel like I’m rubbing your nose in your own words, I just don’t want to miss anything important.

I have your letter sitting right here beside me.  I think I’ve read it a dozen times or more over the last five days.  The first few times I only felt angry.  There are a lot of reasons for that, and I’ll get into them all in just a bit.  But, around day three it really hit me—the full weight of everything that had happened.  I looked at all the texts on my phone, how we were chatting about invitations and cake just a week ago, and then how everything blew apart.

I think I started that.  There are things I’m angry about, but I think that everything that is going on right now is down to my reaction over the thing with Harry.  No, you know what, I know it is.   And you are right.  To all appearances, I got angry at you for things she said, and that sort of snowballed somehow, and then everything I’m really angry about came out.  I don’t know why or how that happens.  And though, I still have much to say here, I am sorry about that, about how it all started, and I am sorry about how I’ve responded.

But lets get started.  I feel like I’m stalling.  I’ve laid up the last three nights going over and over what I want to say to you.  I sat down this morning thinking I would start to write and it would all just pour out, but here I am dragging my feet again. 

 

_________________________________

 

You said: “I considered not bothering with this letter.  I’m not sure you actually want to hear what I have to say anymore.  Perhaps you never wanted to.

No.  I do want to hear what you have to say.  I’ve always wanted to hear it, Sherlock.  I just don’t want it thrust down my throat when I’m not in a place to think about it yet.  Can you understand that?

You remember that first night, all those deductions.  I said ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘brilliant’!  I meant it.  

You told me everyone else usually responded with ‘piss off!’.  

I think I understand that better now.  I think I’ve been saying ‘piss off’ to you since you came back from the dead.  Maybe before that.  

Do you know why people say it, though, Sherlock?  They say it because it’s scary to be stripped naked by a complete stranger.  And though you’re not a stranger to me (far from it by this point), it’s still uncomfortable sometimes.  I don’t like looking at myself that closely.  Maybe that has to change…  But sometimes I’m not ready.  No means no.  If I say to drop it, then drop it.  Please!

I’m going to make you a promise, okay.  I promise that I’ll sit with things more. I will think about why I’m angry, and when I’m ready, I’ll come and talk about it.  I promise to do that, if you promise to not keep looking at me in that way that you do, that way that says: ‘you and I both know the truth, but you’re just not willing to talk about it’, every bloody time we get into an argument or have a misunderstanding.  Because you know what, sometimes I don’t know the truth!  And sometimes I do know it but I don’t want to fucking talk about it!  And yet, you always press on anyway! 

Stop!  Just stop it, please.  Give me room!

You said: “It feels like you’re leaving.  It feels, in some horrible way as though you are already gone, or perhaps were never mine to begin with.

No.  Oh Sherlock, no, okay!  

I did leave didn’t I.  I’m going to stop that.  Leaving is all I know.  Everyone always leaves, and it’s always been easier to leave before I get left.  But this wasn’t about that.  You are too important to me, and I don’t want to be without you.  I can’t be without you.  #sherlocklives means #johnwatsonlives, remember!  

I meant that in more ways than you can know.  I am yours.  I’m only yours.  I don’t want anyone else.  From the moment we met there has never, really, ever been anyone else who wholly had my heart.  And I’m including my wife in that list.  I’m going to talk more about that later, but I thought it was important you should know that now. 

You said: “You say you want the real me, the ‘human’ not the ‘machine’, and yet my tears that night were an offence to you—my relief, my anger—all an offence!  

Well, I won’t apologise for them.  Why?  Because they were true.  In that moment they were true and honest.  And I cannot say the same for you anymore, John.  You are not true and honest with me, and you are not true and honest with yourself.

I do want the real you.  Your tears, relief and anger made me angry because I didn’t understand them, and they made me feel like shite.  I just wanted time alone, and then I come home and there you are, practically frantic.  I can’t be with you 24/7, Sherlock!  Maybe that works for you, but it doesn’t work for me.  I’m going to feel suffocated.  If I want time alone, need time alone to think, then fucking give it to me!  

I should have told you where I was going.  But, you know what, I figured you’d just show up at the pub if I did.  And I didn’t want to talk to you!  Not wanting to talk in that moment doesn’t mean I hate you.  It doesn’t even mean that I never want to talk, ever.  It just means I need space.  But you sometimes seem incapable of giving me that.  

Sometimes it feels like you follow me around like an over-eager puppy.  You’ve always followed me everywhere.  I’d think I was off investigating on my own, that you finally trusted me to handle something, anything, by myself, and then suddenly you’d pop up - “Oh yes, John.  I’ve been following you for the last hour!”  Cue soft chuckle, charming smile, on with the investigation…  

Well, no!  No!  People don’t do that.  It’s a little obsessive, and possessive, to be honest.  

Remember that damn date with Sarah?!  Jesus fucking Christ, Sherlock!  You can’t do that.  You can’t just crash people’s dates just because it suits you, just because you can’t bear to be apart for 5 minutes. 

And yeah, okay, that’s in the past, and we’re not supposed to keep focussing on things you’ve already said sorry for.  Fine.  But your tendency to do that, to just force yourself on me when I don’t want you around hasn’t changed.  I can not want you around in the moment, and still love you, still want you in my life, still want to see you later in the day, still be unable to sleep without you beside me at night.  Wanting space to breathe doesn’t mean not wanting you at all.  Do you get that?

So, you don’t have to apologise for your panic when I didn’t respond to your texts.  It wasn’t an offence to me.  But if I just knew that you would allow me time and space to think on my own, then I never would have stopped responding to them in the first place!  I’m sorry I worried you.  I really am.  I’m not sorry for wanting time apart.

As for me not being true and honest with you—well excuse you, but I think that I have done nothing but that these last few weeks! 

Do you know how difficult that night at the flat in London was for me.  How much I let go of for you.  How hard I tried?!  I was the most honest I have ever been with anyone—ever!  Not just in the things I told you about growing up, about Afghanistan, about my deepest hopes and fears, but in the way I gave myself to you, gave my body to you.  The way I asked for things, just as you have been urging (almost pestering) me to for weeks!  I was naked with you—emotionally and physically.  COMPLETELY.  

And THIS is why I said I regretted being so open.  Apparently it meant nothing to you!  Apparently you were only too ready to forget it at a moments notice as soon as things got difficult.  How true and honest do I have to be before it counts?!  How much of myself do I have to lay bare?

And while we’re at it, how much of yourself do you actually lay bare to me, hm?  You say I use relationships (Mary) as a cover and excuse to protect me from ever having to verbalise my real feelings for you, well how is what you’re doing much different?  You use your obsession with me to get out of ever having to be open about your needs too.   

You say I have all of you, but I still don’t really even know what you need or want from me.  I still don’t know what pleases you in bed.  I still don’t know why you love me.  Whenever I ask you just turn your attentions back on me—what I want, what I need!  I ask you why you love me, you don’t know.  It’s always: ‘I just do’, or ‘you’re perfect’.   

I want to show you how much I love you, I ask you to show me, tell me what you want and you don’t.  You just—Jesus, it’s like you don’t even think you matter, like you don’t want to ask for anything at all, because why?  Why Sherlock?

How do you think that makes me feel when you force me into a corner, force me into a position where I just take, and take, and take from you, but am never allowed to give back in turn?!  I feel like shite!  I feel like I’m just using you!  You don’t let me love you!  Do you know how much that hurts?!

You wouldn’t speak to me after the argument when I got back from the pub.  I kept trying to reach out, to make amends and you just shut me out.  You said it was because you were angry.  You said you didn’t even want to speak, because nothing would please me anyway, I don’t seem to want man or machine, and you have just tried, and tried and tried!

You said: “Oh, and I have tried you know!  Everything I have done, every word I have said, these last few months has been nothing but an attempt to please you, to make you happy, comfortable, safe.  But it isn’t it enough, is it…  I don’t think that it will ever be enough.  And I don’t know what to do about that, John.  I don’t.”

EXACTLY!  Your damn right it won’t ever be enough!  Listen to yourself.  You have done NOTHING but attempt to please ME, to make ME happy, comfortable, safe.  You’re right.  You have done NOTHING but that.  I try to love you back, and you just duck and evade it.  You turn it right back on me and my needs.  So yeah, that isn’t enough, that will never be enough.  I’ve waited my whole life to love you, and now I’m not allowed?!  I hate it.  I HATE that Sherlock.  

What have I done to deserve that.  I just want to be allowed to love you, but you shut me out!

As for my sister.  I don’t really want to talk about her much.  I’ll say this.  It’s not an easy thing for me to think about right now.  She’s leaving.  I’ve been looking after her my whole life.  In some ways I’m relieved to be free of the responsibility (though I’m not entirely convinced this change will last).  But what she represents for me, a lot of the time, is that thing I was talking about earlier.  That pulling me apart, prying me open, forcing me to look at things because she thinks it will be good for me, that it’s in my best interests.  

She was always dropping insinuations about you and I, and the nature of our relationship, you’re right.  And it fucking drove me nuts.  What right does she have?!  Mum was like that too.  She’d show up, once in a blue moon, after months of practically ignoring our existence, whisk Harry and me off on some little adventure, and then sit us down over ice cream, and give me ‘the look’.  “Oh Johnny, why aren’t you happy?  If only you’d do_____, or think _____.  If only you’d just be true to yourself…”  Well, fucking excuse me, but it’s my life!

And you know who that reminds me of, Sherlock?  Yeah, sometimes that reminds me a lot of you!  So when you brought up Harry, and the thing with Mary all at once, it just sort of all got muddled together in my head, and I went off.  I know it seemed like I was getting angry with you over something Harry said.  But, it wasn’t just what she said.  It was the fact that’s she’s always forcing things, even when I don’t want to talk about them.  She’s always tossing her assumptions out there, even publicly sometimes!  And you do that too.  You make me feel so vulnerable sometimes, and not in a good way.  And yeah, I’m angry about that.  I want it to stop.  And I’ve said that already, so I won’t again.  But just…  Don’t.

And now I want to talk about Mary, because a) I promised you at the beginning of this letter that I would, and b) I want to lay it to rest.  I’ll be honest, I’m sick and tired of talking about her.  I want to put that part of my life to bed.  I wish to god, sometimes, that it had never even happened.  But it did.  So let’s talk about it and then be done.

After I watched you jump to your death outside Bart’s, after I held your cold, lifeless hand in mine, looked at your eyes staring up at me, wide, empty, and knew in the inner most parts of myself that you were there, lying bloody on that pavement because of me, because somehow I had not seen something I should have, had not been enough, something inside me died.  

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  For a good year and a half I was living a half life.  I still breathed, my heart kept beating, sometimes I ate, or slept, or bathed.  I drank a lot.  Occasionally someone would come along and call, text, ask how I was.  Always fine.  There was nothing else to say, Sherlock.  I was breathing.  That’s all the news there was to tell.

Mary came along right when I was reaching the end of my rope.  I saw her every day because she was working at the surgery.  She sat with me at lunch.  She talked about the weather.  Sometimes she talked about something she’d seen on the telly.  Over time she talked about her friends, little tiffs they’d had, or a great experience they’d shared.  Eventually she talked about herself, growing up an orphan, how she was lonely as a child, learned to lean on the love and support of friends.  She told me all about herself, and something about that trust made me open up to her too.  

Now we know that was all lies, but I didn’t know that then.  And I opened to her a little about what had happened to you, how it was my fault, how I couldn’t seem to shake it, and she was the one who recommended I maybe see Ella again, she was the one who started coming over and convincing me to go out for coffee, or just a walk in the park.  And you’re right I was grateful to her.  So grateful.  And I did love her.  I loved her because she gave me a reason to keep on trying, to not put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger.  And honestly, even after everything, I’m still grateful for that.  It may have been lies, and I’ll never forgive her for that, I’ll never forgive her for almost taking you from me again.  There can only be hate where those things are concerned.  But I’m here now because she was there then, and that’s something.

And then you came back.  Just like that, out of the blue.  Surprise!  I had just moved on and everything was upended again.  Was I just going to drop everything and move back to Baker Street?!  No!  Why would I, Sherlock?!  There was someone else in my life to think about now, someone who had been a huge part of my life for the better part of six months.  She mattered too.  And I was angry at you.

Did I start getting sucked back into your orbit?!  Yes.  That always seems sort of inevitable somehow.  I did start feeling torn.  You were there.  Everything in me wanted to be with you, for things to be like they once were.  But somewhere deep down I knew they never would be.  There was no getting back what we had before you jumped.  And I don’t know—maybe neither of us really wanted that anyway… 

I spent a lot of time feeling torn.  There was never really any real competition.  You know that.  I hated you for it for awhile when you first came back.  I hated you for how much I wanted you, how much I knew that everything with Mary was going to fall apart one way or another.  And it did.  And you know what, if Mary hadn’t turned out to be what she was, it still would have.

I would have fucked that up, just like I fuck up everything.  I would have fucked it up because I loved her, but not enough, because she was my wife, but I wanted you.  You asked me if you would only be evenings and weekends, if you would never be anything more than my dirty little secret.  I want to say, ‘how dare you!’.  I want to tell you that your a fucking fool if you think that’s all you are, or ever have been to me.  I can’t.

I can’t, and I hate myself for that.  That marriage would have ended one way or another, someday, Sherlock.  That was inevitable.  Even I can look at it and see that I was a shite husband.  One of my old girlfriends told me once that I was a great boyfriend—and that you were a very lucky man.  Seems I always put everyone second behind you.  You’ve always been first in my heart, even back then.

But if Mary had been who she originally presented herself to be, if Gemma had lived, would I have ever found it within myself to walk away from them, to abandon my family to be with you?  I don’t know…  

I should have walked away while there was still the chance.  I did drag my feet leading up to the wedding.  Everything felt wrong, and I couldn’t figure out why.  Was that ignorant?  Yeah.  It probably was.  But I can’t get angry about those decisions now, because it’s done, and Mary wasn’t who she professed to be, and my daughter of a only a day is lying in a tiny grave in a London cemetery.  And I choose you now, here, under current circumstances.  I choose you again and again.

Why dwell on theoretical ‘what-ifs’?  What is the point of that, Sherlock.  Is this about me not knowing how to tell Harry about us?  It is hard for me.  I’m sorry.  I’m trying.  I told you I’m trying.  But don’t make me pay for things that never happened at all, don’t perseverate on imagined slights.  

I choose you, okay.  I love you.  And I’m trying to be braver every day.  That has to be enough.

I have given up everything to be here with you.  My job (such as it was).  My life in London.  My very small social circle.  My blog.  The cases.  Everything.  Hell, I don’t even bloody know who I am anymore, but I’m willing to start afresh, in a small town (I fucking hate small towns!!), at my age, and all for one thing.  For you.  Because I love you, and I want you, and I’ve spent my whole life, it sometimes seems, waiting for you.  So don’t question my love. Don’t make me prove it.  Especially when you don’t even seem to want it sometimes!

You asked what we should do now…

This, I guess.  I don’t know what else there is.  

You’ve said your bit, and now I’ve said mine.  I’m going to post this letter, because honestly I could use an extra day to think, to just sit with everything you’ve said, and everything I’ve said in return.  

And when you get it tomorrow, I hope you read it, and sit with it too.  And then I hope you text me, or call me, or just walk down here to the bottom of the hill and knock on the door of room #5.  I miss you. 

 

John

Chapter Text

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

12/09/15

 

Sherlock,

Last night still feels like a bit of a dream.  It felt SO good to be home.  I’m sorry I stayed away so long.  I do that.  Firstly to let my anger simmer down to something manageable, but after that, just to—I don’t know really.  I’m like an animal that crawls off alone somewhere to lick it’s wounds.  But, I was horribly lonely without you those six days.  I’d rather not spend so much time apart again if we can help it.  

Thanks for talking when I got back.  It was late already, and I could tell just by looking at you that you hadn’t slept, or ate, or even properly bathed in all those days I was gone.  I felt pretty shite seeing that.  I got angry all over again.  I know you saw it.  But I wasn’t angry at you (well maybe a little bit angry at you), I was angry at myself.  I hope everything that came afterwards showed you how sorry I was, how much I care.

It felt so good to make you a late dinner, to just enjoy the weight and nearness of you in the bath afterwards, to feel the way all the tension melted out of your body while I shaved you, washed your hair and back.  And then to go to bed, both of us too exhausted to do anything else but sleep, and relish in the warmth of you, the sound of your breathing, the way you held onto me, almost for dear life, in your sleep.

I’m going to make you a promise, okay.  I promise you that from now on if we have a disagreement about something, and I need to walk away, I’ll tell you.  I’ll just say something like, “I need space,” so that you know.  And when I say that, and when I walk out, please know that I’m just going up the road, or somewhere near, and I’ll be back within an hour or two.  If I’m going to be longer I’ll text you and tell you, and I’ll not spend the night away again.  Will that work, do you think?

I know it’s hard for you to understand why I need that kind of space, but you are just going to have to trust me that I do, okay.  I think we can do this.  I have faith in us.  But, we’ve got to find some things that are going to work.  I don’t want what happened this last week to happen again.

I hated coming home and seeing you that way, seeing how worried you’d been, how lost without me there.  I guess I just always figured that you didn’t need me much anymore.  All those months I lived with Mary, and you seemed to be alright.  I never considered how much Mrs. Hudson stepped in and did, how often your brother checked in, or even Molly or Greg.  

And when I moved out here, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really notice all the unpacked boxes still stuffed into the rooms upstairs, or the clutter about the place, or the lack of food in the fridge, or dearth of experiments laid out and about in those first few days.  I didn’t consider that you might have had someone in to clean once a week (why didn’t you tell me?  We should have kept her on!).  

I was sort of preoccupied with you, with the joy of your body next to me in bed at night (and in the morning, and sometimes in the middle of the afternoon).  I was wrapped up in thinking about our upcoming marriage.  I feel a right idiot for not realising!

God knows I’m sort of a failure at those sorts of domestic affairs, too, off and on.  But I do make sure you’re fed and rested.  I can do that.  And I can provide my companionship, which you seem to so value, though only heaven knows why.  I am a rather tetchy bugger sometimes, aren’t I…

Can I ask you something?  I know you love me.  I know why you need me, or at least I think I’m starting to get an idea of why.  But can you tell me why you like me?  What is it about me that makes you enjoy my companionship.  I suppose that is still a piece I feel is missing.

I like you, you know.  I’m ridiculously fond.  I love your brilliant mind.  I know I get very irked about being seen when I’m not really ready, about all those amazing deductive powers focussed laser-like on me, but don’t think I don’t still find them brilliant!  

I like the way you shout at the telly when characters on shows do stupid things, illogical things.  I love how you watch films with me, even when you don’t think you’ll like them, but then sometimes get into them despite yourself, and get very emotionally invested (remember the time you started watching Good Will Hunting on telly one night when you were bored, and then got all choked up at the ‘It’s not your fault’ scene?  Yeah, I noticed).

I like how you never eat, never seem to care about food, but then when you do, you are so picky.  How you pick all the carrot bits out of your fried rice, and won’t drink your tea if it’s too hot or too cold, and will only eat yogurt if I get that one specific brand.

I like how you are so cluttered, so messy about the flat, but your wardrobe is cataloged and categorised by colour, fabric, and god knows what all else.  Your personal care products are all neatly arranged in the loo, too.  But still, there are severed, bloody digits in the crisper (I know—not anymore), and old magazines and newspapers strewn about the flat, a lab’s worth of chemistry equipment littering the kitchen table.  I love the contrast of how careful, and studied, and ordered you are about your person, and your topics of interest, but not at all about almost anything else.

I like the way you light up, all flushed with joy and anticipation at a new case, or more recently, whenever the bees make some gain, when an experiment produces the results you were hoping for, or even when Gladstone does something you deem particularly impressive (or yes, even cute).

More recently I like the new things I’m discovering about you, the softness in your eyes when I catch you watching me putter around the cottage.  The way you curl onto your side, your hands clasped like you’re praying and tucked under your chin while you sleep.  The way I wake up to a mouth and nose filled with curls, and long limbs draped over every available inch of my body.  Even when we’ve argued or had a falling out.  You always seem to migrate toward me in your sleep.

I like that small little inhalation of breath you make, still, whenever I kiss you, as if every time is a surprise; the way I’ll see your eyes fixed on my hands when you want me to touch you in some small way, like you’re sitting there, thinking about it, formulating the best approach to get what you want.  I like how young you suddenly look, sometimes, when I tell you I love you.

I like the way you are with Gladstone, so indulgent, how you treat him almost like a little person (he likes that too, especially when it results in bits of your dinner being handed to him under the table).

And you know what, to be perfect truthful, there is even a part of me that likes the way you see me, the way you urge me open in spite of myself.  It’s a fine line, so don’t get any grand ideas, but I’m not stupid, you know.  I can see how different I am now to how I was in the Spring, the things I’ve let go.  And that’s partially down to you.  

You just need to learn a little tact in how you go about sharing those deductions of yours, and you have to see that when I say ‘no’, or ‘enough’, there’s a reason.  You’ve hit the line of what I’m able to think about, or deal with in that moment.  If you do that, Sherlock, if you stop when I ask you to, it’s okay for you to see me, it’s okay for you ask probing questions.  You’re just pants at knowing when enough is enough.  So I’m going to tell you, and then you need to stop.  Agreed?

Well, I suppose I should wrap this up now.  It’s well past 11:00 am and you’re still sleeping!  Did you sleep at all while I was gone?!  I’m going to take Gladstone for his walk.  I’ll be back in just a bit, and then we can make some breakfast (or lunch, I suppose).

 

All my love,

John

Chapter Text

(left on tea table beside John’s chair)

12/09/15

 

John,

You’ve gone into the village to pick up a few things for dinner, so I thought I would take the time to write this now.  I so wanted to tell you all these things to your face, over lunch, and yet all I could manage was a meagre thank-you, and to look at you, and hope you saw in my eyes all the things I couldn’t find words for in that moment.  

My heart was too full, John.  Full of you, of your presence in the house again, in my life, for good.  It was full of the words you had said in that letter this morning, the things you liked about me, loved about me.  Full of your thoughts, and your solutions for these things that have come between us these last few days.

I will honour your request for distance when we have disagreements.  It is more than reasonable.  I don’t know why I react as I do.  I do hate it.  I recognise that the panic is illogical, uncalled for.  And it isn’t only the worry of not knowing where you have gone, but deeper than that, it is an almost suffocating fear that you are leaving me, truly leaving, not coming back ever.  I fear, I suppose, that perhaps you have finally hit upon the one thing about me that is too much, or not enough, the one thing that will, quite rightly, inspire you to pack your bags and leave me.

As an adult I have never lived my life by anyone else’s rules.  I have always lived it precisely as I choose.  I told you when we met that we should know the worst about one another before we moved in together.  I think I vastly underrepresented my worst traits.  But I was so desperate to have you, John.  It was wrong of me.  I should have been much more forthcoming.  

Though, I suppose you learned soon enough, and still you stayed.  You did walk out one or two times in those early days, none-the-less, (the night we argued about your blog entry on our first case, the night at Grimpen when I was coming undone and I snapped needlessly at you), and I felt that same sort of ache and slight panic even then, even before I fully realised what the pull was that I felt whenever you were near, before I realised I needed you like I needed oxygen.

But now—now it is paralysing.  And still I say, I will always live my life by my rules.  You must learn to accept the best and worst of me.  But, in saying this, I also want you to know this:  I will weave your rules into mine.  I have already woven you into my life.  You have become, over time, an indivisible part of the warp and weft of the fabric of my existence, and when you leave, when I think you are leaving, it feels like I am unravelling, being torn apart.  You have become so much a part of my life, of what I want, what I am, I cannot imagine life without you.  I become less than without you here.

You make me feel worth something, somehow—worth more than simply my skills and ability to read a crime scene like a well-illustrated map.  You make me believe that I might be something more than simply a trick pony, carted out when useful, or when someone wants to be impressed.  Sometimes I look at you, at the way you look at me, and I see something in your eyes, something that makes me think you do indeed see past this persona I have built, that you see a man.  More than that, you see a good man, and I’ve no idea what I’ve done to earn such high regard from a person as moral and loyal, as kind and good as you.

Do you, John?  Do you see the man behind this brilliant mind, behind all the skill, all the smoke and mirrors?  I hope you do, sometimes.

You are the best of men, John.  I know you think you are broken, and that you ‘fuck up’ what is between us again, and again.  But you don’t.  You do the very best you can.  There is such a fortified wall that you have of necessity built over the years, and it is understandable that you not want to tear that down, perhaps don’t even know where to begin.  But, you try!  For me.  For us.  And it’s such a great risk!  Don’t think that I don’t see that.  

I have walls of my own that I have barely even begun to dismantle, and yet—and yet I feel that I can be most unforgivably forward in urging you to dismantle yours.  Yes, unforgivable.  You are right.  I latch onto some deduction and I plough ahead without the slightest inkling of empathy or tact.  Forgive me.  I don’t think.  

When I deduce some truth, it is natural to voice it.  It’s gotten me into trouble more times than I can count.  It may be the primary reason I’ve not a friend in the world but you.  You have always been so indulgent with me in this area, but it isn’t fair to expect you to accept it without protest over, and over, and over again.  I will endeavour to do better.

You are the best of men, you know.  Who else would still be here after everything I have put you through?  Who else would patiently bear my ill humours?  Who else would take such a care for my body, reminding me that much as I seem to despise this transport, it requires refuelling and rest (and pleasure), none-the-less?

Who else would give me the space I need, would be content to sit in silence while I pore over some week-long experiment, uttering nary a word in all that time?  Who else would, almost without compunction, indulge my whims, my orders?  Oh, I am so demanding sometimes, John, especially when there is a case on.  I order you about so unforgivably.  Though, I have observed that you don’t seem to mind.  Still, I might be a little less demanding?

I do like you, you know.  Apparently I have been horribly remiss in letting you know all the ways in which I do.  This is a failing I will do everything in my power to rectify.  Not just here, but every day, in little ways.  You are quite right.  I don’t tell you enough.  I have failed you in this area, and I am sorry.

I like the proud bearing of you.  The way you are so controlled most times, but then little things slip through, in spite of yourself—even in your sleep.  You sleep flat on your back.  I suppose it was habit cultivated after your shoulder injury.  But at night, when I draw close, you incline your head, to rest your cheek on my hair, and your hand reaches out to find mine in the dark.

Every morning, without fail, you make the bed with military precision.  I’ve not made my bed since I was eleven years old.  I can never seen the point, but I must admit that there is a certain pleasure to slipping beneath the sheets of a freshly made bed each night that I would not have anticipated.

You have the most pleasing singing voice, and you sing in the shower, and hum while you cook, and even now, I have observed, while you work in the garden.  So, I get to enjoy it quite often, and enjoy it I do.  It calms me.  Sometimes when we were still living together at Baker St., I would sit on my bed and listen to you sing while you were in the shower, just for the sheer pleasure of it.

You can cook.  You may not do it often, but when you do, it is always exactly to my taste.  You observe my little peculiarities of taste, and adapt your recipes, too.  Don’t think I haven’t noticed.  

When you noticed I didn’t like carrots you started leaving them out of recipes.  Once when you decided to make shepherd’s pie on a whim, and we had no bags of frozen peas in, you actually used a mixed bag and picked all the carrots out first!  Yes, I noticed that.  It was ridiculously indulgent of you.  

Mummy would have chastised you for indulging my pickiness if she had been there.  My brother would have rolled his eyes.  But, you didn’t seem to think twice about it, even though I could hear you muttering about me being a ‘goddamned finicky eater’ all the way out in the lounge.  Still, there was a fondness to your tone.  I irritated you, but still you loved and indulged me.  No one but you has ever done that for me, John.  No one!

I like how you force me to watch ridiculously romantic films with you, and then spend the whole time covertly watching me for my reactions out of the corner of your eye.  You are so eager that I should enjoy what you enjoy, so concerned that I might be bored, or not pleased.  And when I do occasionally enjoy something I’d not expected to, you always seem so elated.  You get a slight flush to your cheeks, and a softness to your eyes, did you know?  Is it arousal?  I could never quite tell.  The time we watched one of those Bond films you like so much, I thought you were thinking of kissing me.  Were you?  It was years ago, so perhaps you don’t remember.  

I like watching you while you work, whether it’s just you fixing (or rather attempting to fix) the faucets in the kitchen, or working in the garden, or even just preparing a meal, your body is so appealing, so endlessly fascinating.  You will get very irked at me for this, but—it’s perfect.  Don’t be like that…  It is!!!  

And you’re so fortunate in how you tan when you’ve been outside in the sun.  You see what happens to me—red as a cooked lobster in mere minutes!  But you go a lovely golden brown, and it only makes your eyes bluer, and your hair more strikingly fair, and I go weak at the knees, John.  That’s not even an exaggeration.  I’m quite in earnest.

I like the way you are so skilled at navigating social situations.  Oh, I’m not blind, John, I know that at times you are as disinclined to engage with other human beings as I am.  But you can do it!  And you do do it!  And often you even seem to enjoy it, especially when it is small groups of people you know well, and like.  

You are such a help to me there.  You speak for both of us many times, when it comes to irksome, boring things like social niceties, and you manage, and people aren’t wholly alienated, which, when it comes to having useful social connections, finding help in those rare instances one needs it (like when Gladstone was missing), or getting more cases is, I suppose, something of great importance.

I like your blog, too.  It’s certainly not to my taste, and I often think you do ridiculously romanticise things, but people seem to like that sort of drivel, and so cases come in, and they wouldn’t if not for you.  I do recognise that.  

Would you mind very much keeping another blog, or perhaps just keeping on with your current one, and changing it a little, now that we are living here?  I feel we might get more frequent and interesting cases that way, and I can see that you are languishing without proper cases.  That is something I would like to rectify as soon as possible!

I like you, John.  I like you so very much, and I thought you knew, and I’m horrified that you didn’t.  Did this help?  There are so many other things I like about you, too.  I could spend days listing them.  I will tell you a few more every day, if you like, every day until the day we die.

Well, I suppose you will be home soon, and I should give Gladstone his dinner.

Just know this—I love you.  I adore you.  I am achingly fond.  I like and prefer you above any other person.  I am lost without you.  I cannot fathom spending another minute of my life, where we are not wholly committed to facing every joy and hardship life might produce, together, or not at all.

Yours faithfully and with all my love,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

(left at John’s place at the kitchen table)

13/09/15

 

John,

Good-morning.  I’ve decided that every morning, now, I will tell you at least one thing I like about you.  Due to certain events yesterday, I find that this morning I have several things fresh on my mind.

For instance, the warm, wet heat of your mouth around my cock.  The delicious weight of your cock against my tongue.  The way your fingers massage desperately against my scalp as your pleasure builds, but that you are always so careful, careful not to use your nails, careful not to pull too hard, as your fist closes around my hair and you pull me away right at your peak.

I like the warmth of your come as it spills over my fingers (sometimes against my cheek), the way I feel your cock pulse and twitch against my palm as you cry out in pleasure.  I love the needy sounds you make, as wave after wave strikes, the way you pull me up and tight against you afterwards, leaving us both a gorgeous, sticky mess.

I like the the added slickness, then, as I cant my hips against you, as you reach down and wrap your hands around me, and I thrust into your firm grip.  I love how easy it is.  How I come so quickly the minute you touch me like that.  I like how much it pleases you, and all the small praises you grant when I let myself go for you.

I like the way you claim my mouth, slow, lazy slide of lips and tongue as I come back down to earth, how you pet my head, run your fingers down the length of my spine.  I love…

Come to think of it, this may not have been the best idea, John.  I was supposed to walk Gladstone, check the bees, make you breakfast but now…

I’m just going to crawl back into bed with you.

Achingly yours,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

  

 

  

 

Chapter Text

Harry Watson <harryw1971@gmail.com>   11:34  AM 

to: John

 

John,

 

The papers in London are saying that Sherlock is missing!  They’re saying all sorts of awful things: abduction, possible murder, that foul play is suspected?!  You must be worried sick.  I went ‘round to see you today, but the flat was all locked up and a ‘For Sale’ sign out front.  Are you still in London?

Listen, I know you’ve been upset about India and me moving to Praiano.  I know you’re angry at me.  But, you need to tell me if you’re not okay.  You remember how you got when he was missing those two years, when you thought he was dead?  You didn’t do well, Luv, and you know it.  You’ve been looking after me my whole life, so you don’t need to feel badly if you need me to help you out a little now, okay.  I want to help you!  Stop pushing me out, okay.

India’s pretty brilliant.  She’s good with codes, reading patterns, that kind of stuff.  I don’t know what’s going on with this case, but if her skills would help, she’s offered.  She’s been teaching Advanced Maths at Cambridge for years, and has consulted on intelligence types of things before, though she can’t be all that forthcoming on the details.  She’s really clever John, almost as clever as Sherlock, I suspect.  Just tell me if there’s anything either of us can do.

I feel pretty helpless here.  I don’t even know where you’re living now!  Are you down there in East Sussex somewhere with Sherlock?

Please just let me know how you are, and if you need anything, okay.  We’re due to leave for Italy in a week, but if you need me, I’ll put it off.  There’s no rush.  I love you.  I miss talking to you, seeing you. 

 

Harry

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   6:32 am

to: Sherlock

 

 

Sherlock,

 

I know your phone must be long dead if you even still have it.  But my hope is that if you get somewhere with computer access, you might get this.

You’ve been missing for 62 hours.  They say the first 48 hours are critical.  I have little trust in the local police service.  Their hearts are in the right place, but…  I’m not sure that Greg’s lads are any better.  I never thought I’d say this, but I miss your brother.  I miss the kind of connections he had, the strings he could pull.  

I have pored over every piece of information we have on  Smith—Tropical Infectious Disease Specialist.   Those vials at his surgery—Ebola.  But then, you probably knew that.  That doesn’t make me feel all that great, you know.  Of course now the morgue holding Victor Smith’s body is all in a panic.  Proper precautions weren’t taken with the body, because he died alone, at home, and no one knew how until the autopsy was done.  They’re not equipped to handle something like this out here.  I think they’ve called in some folks from Public Health.

But, that’s what you were onto, wasn’t it…?  You knew Smith had murdered his nephew, you knew how, and like the great sodding idiot you are, you went off to that surgery ALONE to confirm your suspicions, to confront Culverton!  Why, Sherlock?  The fact that both you and Culverton are missing makes me sick with worry.  Where are you?!

We’ve checked Smith’s two surgeries, his home here, and his cottage closer to the beach.  We’ve checked with family.  None of them seem to know.  I was there for all the interrogations.  Either they’re the best liars in the world, or they’re just as much in the dark as we are.

I’m terrified, Sherlock.  Terrified that Smith has taken you somewhere, that you may be ill.  Apparently he has no compunctions about murdering family members with biological weapons of his own creation.  How much less would he care about infecting someone who was about to reveal his guilt in that murder?!

You’re such a fucking child sometimes, Sherlock.  Why do you never call the police for backup?!  Why must you have no patience, always run off on your own?!  I’m so angry at you!  I miss you.  I love you.  I need you.  

We’re still looking.  I’m always going to look.

You come home to me, you hear!  There’s still that little outstanding matter of a wedding!

 

All my love, 

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

DAY TIME. TODD WARD - KING’S COLLEGE HOSPITAL, LONDON.  John is standing before the window to an isolation room, mobile in hand.

Sherlock is sat in a chair the other side of the isolation room, IV in his arm, holding a mobile of his own.  It rings, and he picks it up.

 

JOHN (voice tight): I’m so angry at you!  

 

(Sherlock moves to interrupt, but John will have none of it.)

 

JOHN (a little louder and more vehemently): No!  You don’t say anything.  You listen to me.  No more of this, you understand!  No more.  You have been missing for over three days!  The police, the papers, they were all saying murder!!  All this time!  All this time, and I didn’t…

You realise what this means?  Do you understand what’s happening here, Sherlock?  This isn’t a fucking game anymore.  They’re saying Smith infected you—on purpose?!

And now the hospital’s telling me I can’t suit up and come in there to see you.  They’re saying it’s at your request.  Well fuck that and fuck you!  I’m a doctor, in case you’d forgotten; I’m more than aware of the precautions necessary, and if I want to give my husband a piece of my fucking mind face-to-face rather than through the glass window of an isolation room, then I fucking will!

 

SHERLOCK: Shh…

 

JOHN (furious and much louder than is probably prudent on a hospital ward): DON’T!!

 

SHERLOCK (gently, penitently):  They’ll kick you out, John.  It’s alright.  Everything’s alright, now.  I’m sorry…

 

(John swallows hard, and tries to master his breathing.  He’s angry enough that he’s trembling, and his breath is coming quick and shallow.)

 

SHERLOCK:  I can’t risk you getting ill too, John.

 

JOHN (voice unsteady with emotion): Just shut up.  Stop sitting all the way over there.  Come over here to the glass where I can see you properly.

 

(Sherlock does as he’s told, and moves toward the window, IV cart in tow.  He stops directly in front of John.  They would be close enough to touch if not for the pane of glass between them.  John’s eyes rake over Sherlock’s body as though hoping beyond hope that he can somehow diagnose him on visuals alone.)

 

JOHN (tone softening):  How do you feel?

 

(Sherlock, looking tired, pale, and somehow even thinner than usual, swallows tightly, and looks down at the floor, worrying the tips of the fingers on his free hand as he answers.)

 

SHERLOCK (clearly fighting to sound confident): I have a headache.  That’s probably dehydration.  Since Smith was going to kill me anyway, and a lack of hydration would just hasten the process he didn’t really concern himself with things like food and water the last few days.  In fact, I spent a good deal of it in the boot of his car.

 

JOHN (clearly furious at this news):  Jesus!

 

SHERLOCK (continuing):  They’re rehydrating me, though.  (nodding toward the IV cart at his side)  That will help, if—well…

 

JOHN (shaking his head): What happened?

 

SHERLOCK: Does it matter now?

 

JOHN (clenching his jaw in frustration):  Yes, it matters!  It matters to me.  Do you know what I went through all those days you were gone, only able to imagine where you were, what had happened, what I should have done to stop it?!

 

(Sherlock’s head snaps up at this.)

 

SHERLOCK (adamantly):  John, none of this was in any way your fault.  I take full responsibility, and… (looking down at the floor again)  I’m sorry.  (looking back up, clearly filled with remorse)  John, I’m so sorry!

 

(John clenches his jaw again, and sniffs back the urge to retort. He shuffles from one foot to the other, and stares down at the floor before looking up again and responding.)

 

JOHN (with surprising patience and softness): Just tell me what happened.

 

SHERLOCK (taking a deep breath):  I was stupid, John.  You told me not to go on alone, and I ignored you, and it was a selfish, ignorant thing to do.  When I reached the surgery, Smith was just leaving.  I confronted him about his nephew’s death, told him I knew he’d done it, how he’d done it.

 

JOHN (sarcastic and tight):  Brilliant.  Always have to be the show-off, don’t you.

 

SHERLOCK (small and penitent):  I know.  I’m sorry.

 

(John pulls the mobile away from his ear and shakes his head.  He rubs at his eyebrows, wearily, before returning the mobile to his ear.)

 

JOHN (wearily): Go on, then.  What happened after that?

 

SHERLOCK:  He got quite angry, insisting that I had no proof.  I—I told him that the police would be there to search the surgery in just a few minutes, and then we would see what proof we might find.  The worst I thought he’d do was bolt.  I didn’t expect him to have a sedative on him.  I don’t remember much.  I must have passed out, and when I woke up I was in the boot of a car, and we were driving.  We were going too fast, and there were too few stops for us to still be in Eastbourne.  I tried kicking out the tail lights, but they wouldn’t budge.  The lock was rusted and wouldn’t seem to release from the inside either.

I was stuck.  We drove a good while, pulled onto a dirt road for about five minutes and stopped.  I heard Smith get out of the car, and walk away, he went inside what I now know was a small farmhouse near Chelsham—family place.  

I lost track of how long I was out there.  He’d taken my phone, obviously.  There was nothing to do but wait.  I think I was out there overnight.  It got quite cold.  At one point he pounded on the boot and told me to tell him if I was alive.  I said nothing, of course.

 

JOHN (sarcastically): Oh yeah, of course…

 

SHERLOCK (brow furrowed):  If you don’t want to hear anymore, it’s fine.

 

JOHN (with a sigh): Just cut to the chase.  How did you get infected, and how did you end up back here in London?

 

SHERLOCK (a little indignantly): I was just getting to that part.

 

JOHN (motioning for him to continue):  Well—on you go, then.

 

SHERLOCK:  He left again.  Early this morning he finally opened the boot, he had a syringe and a gun.  I knew that was going to be my only chance, so I just lay there, feigning illness.  When he got close enough, I bolted up and went for the gun.  Seemed the most logical course of action.  Unfortunately he got me with the syringe.

I was worried it was more sedative, but when I didn’t feel the effects, I realised it wasn’t.  He seemed rather pleased with himself, but also eager to make a break, which he couldn’t do while I had him at gunpoint, obviously.  I forced him to confess everything, and then to drive us here, when I realised what he had done.  

In the scuffle, he’s also scratched himself with the syringe, so no need to take needless risks, and I think it made him much more amenable to doing what I said, the gun not withstanding.  I drove us both here because it’s one of the best research hospitals in London, and I figured that if we had a fighting chance anywhere, it would be here.  

And well… (shrugging)  Here I am.

 

JOHN (nodding with a sniff):  I’m so angry at you!

 

SHERLOCK (looking duly chastised):  You already said that.

 

JOHN (a little red in the face):  Well, I’m saying it again!!

 

SHERLOCK (quietly): John…

 

JOHN (visibly fighting to control his emotions): What?

 

SHERLOCK (very small):  I’m scared…

 

(This seems to shake John out of his rapidly returning rage.  With a clench of his jaw, he steps forward and presses a hand to the glass window.  Sherlock reaches up and presses his over John’s from the other side.)

 

JOHN (eyes glassy, voice unsteady):  It’s going to be okay.  I promise.  You’re right.  This is a good hospital.  You’re here early, before symptoms present.  I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.  You tell them I’m to be allowed to see you.  I’ll make arrangements with the Ward Manger.  I’m not leaving, okay.  And as long as they don’t move you to intensive care, we’ll have this, we can talk, and text.  I’ll get you a laptop, okay.

 

(Sherlock nods, eyes full.)

 

JOHN:  You’ll have to be in here 21 days, you know that?  It can take up to 21 days for symptoms to present.

 

SHERLOCK (a single tear finally managing to escape and run down his cheek unchecked): What about the wedding?

 

JOHN (with a little huff and an attempt at a smile): It can wait.  When you get out of here, we’ll do it, just as soon as we can.

 

SHERLOCK: Greg and Molly’s wedding?

 

JOHN (smiling sadly):  I think they’ll understand.

 

SHERLOCK (another tear escaping): John…

 

JOHN: Yeah.

 

SHERLOCK:  I am sorry.  I’m a horrible husband, I know.

 

JOHN (tightly pursing his lips in a clear attempt not to cry):  You’re not.  You’re just… For a genius you’re a real idiot sometimes.

 

(Sherlock huffs out a small laugh and John smiles weakly.)

 

JOHN: I’m going to go get the Ward Manager.  You can tell her you don’t mind me coming in to see you, okay.

 

SHERLOCK (nods): Alright.

 

JOHN:  I’m going to have to get suited up.  It will take me a bit, but I want to come in there and touch you.  Still not quite sure how I got so lucky a third time.  I’m starting to think you’ve got more lives than a damn cat.

 

SHERLOCK (chuckles softly, and then…):  John—I really wish you would reconsider.  I don’t want to put your life at risk.

 

JOHN (dropping his hand from the glass, stepping away and shaking his head—exasperated but fond):  You just don’t get it, do you?  You are my life!  I don’t want to do this without you. I can’t do this without you.  I tried that once.  Didn’t work.

 

SHERLOCK (contrite): I’m sorry, John.

 

JOHN (with a deep sigh): You keep saying that, but sorry isn’t good enough.  You fight.  You promise me you’ll fight this, or I won’t forgive you.

 

SHERLOCK (eyes filling again):  I promise.  I’ll always fight.

 

JOHN (eyes full, nodding tightly):  Good.  I’m going to hold you to that.  And no more running off on your own on cases, either.

 

SHERLOCK: No.

 

JOHN: Good.  You hang in there.  I’ll be right back, okay.

 

SHERLOCK (suddenly looking a little desperate):  John!

 

JOHN (lifting the mobile back to his ear): Yeah.

 

SHERLOCK (fervently): I love you.

 

JOHN (smiling softly):  I love you, too.  Be right back, ‘kay.

 

(Sherlock nods, and continues to hold the phone to his ear for a moment, even as John hangs up, and walks away down the corridor.)

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  9:23 AM

to: John

 

John,

 

Thank-you for this, for this laptop.  We’ll need to bin it when all’s said and done, I suppose, but this is better than nothing, and they’re not allowing me a phone anymore because of the monitoring equipment.

I had hoped—you have no idea how I had hoped that it wouldn’t come to this, that I wouldn’t get ill at all.  But, I think we’re rather past that now.  It’s not so bad right now, I’m not ‘putting on an act for you’ as you suggested last night.  I’m not pretending to feel better than I really do.  The headache did go away on the evening of the first day (I told you it was the dehydration!).  

Last night it was just a mild sort of unease, a strange feeling of something being not quite right.  I thought perhaps it was just psychosomatic, an strange anxiety-triggered trick of my traitorous brain, but now the sore throat, the fever, the aching muscles.  It just feels like a mild case of influenza.  But, I suppose that’s it finished, then.  There’s no dodging this thing.  I ride it out.  Is it a good or a bad thing that symptoms came on so quickly (already on the second day) do you think?

I know it will get worse.  But, I need you to know that I meant every word of what I said two days ago.  I will fight!  I will!  And I promise you, a promise shored up with all of the not inconsiderable love I have for you, that I will NEVER do this again, John.  I will take more of a care for myself.  I will put the thought of you first and foremost in my mind always, in every decision.  

I have wronged you, and caused you pain so many times.  Sometimes I think that is all I do.  You have seemed mostly miserable in all the time we have been together.  Oh, there have been times of happiness, contentment.  I have seen that, too.  But, mostly I have angered you, hurt you, worried you.  Why do you stay, I sometimes wonder…

Oh, but promise me you will, John!  Please.  This is a storm I would rather weather with you by my side.  I’m not sure I can do it on my own.

I know enough of this disease to know what lies ahead.  I am familiar with means of contraction, symptoms, mortality rate.  They are useful to the work.  But, I will admit that the long term after affects of tropical diseases are not something I have concerned myself with much.  I was tempted to research more thoroughly last night, but I couldn’t bring myself to, somehow.  It is so unlike me.  Usually knowledge, data, calms me, but—I can’t explain it.  For this thing, I think I would rather leave myself in your capable hands.  I’m likely to change my mind at a moment’s notice, just so you know, but it’s where I stand on the matter this morning.

I still fear for you, John. I still fear you coming here, into the room with me.  I do wish you would reconsider.  Just knowing that you are here in the hospital with me, that you are consulting with the attending physician on my care, all of those things are comfort enough.  If you were to get ill, too…  If I were to…

Oh, John, look what I have done to us!  I think of losing you, and I am paralysed, I am ill at the thought of it.  I see this bleak, black future stretching out before me, and I am lost.  Is that what it has been like for you, in all these times I have left you, nearly died?  Is it what it’s like now?!  

I said it two days ago, and I meant it, John.  I’ve been a horrible husband to you!  All these emails, letters, all these words, these pretty, useless words, and what good are they if I don’t shore them up with action, intent?  I say I love you, and then I run off, headlong into danger, without a second thought for you, or what you must be feeling.  It’s unforgivable of me!  I would say that I’m sorry, but you have heard those words from me enough.  You’re right, they’ve ceased to have meaning, since I toss them out, and then simply continue doing the very things that necessitated an apology in the first place.

No more, John.  I vowed to you, well over a year ago, that I would always be there for you.  It is a vow I take very seriously, and my actions have not borne that out.  I’ve been a fool.  You can count on me from here on, John.  That vow is one I intend to always keep.

Well, I think rest is in order, now, so I’ll lay this aside.

I love you, John.  With every part of me.  You have been, are, and always will be the very best part of my life.  You are my reason for fighting through this.  You are my joy and hope when I look toward the years left to me.  Never doubt this.  It is the one truth I need you know without doubt.

 

Yours always,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   10:35  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

You’ll likely not get the chance to read this until you’re feeling better, but it’s not going to stop me from writing you.  You’ll have quite a long convalescence ahead of you, and you’ll have time then to read these emails.  Something to look forward to, eh!

There’s so much I want to say, so many things I should have said before now, and I haven’t.  I don’t know why.  I suppose I’ve chosen the cowards way, which, despite what you believe, is not entirely uncommon for me.  I dodge, evade; I get angry, instead of sitting with things, feeling them.  It’s what I do.  I know you see that.  None of this is easy for me.  It’s always been easier to avoid matters of the heart than to face them head on.  

I don’t know…  Now I wonder if that isn’t why I used to get angry at you for doing something similar, for willingly choosing to wear that mask of cold, uncaring indifference, when something in my gut always told me that you were something else, something entirely different, much softer than you ever let on.  I was angry at you because I was angry at myself?  I don’t really know.  I just need you to know that I do see, recognise, and appreciate the effort you have made to open yourself to me these last few months, and though I have promised you, before now, to try and be more open myself, I’m vowing it again, with even more resolve.  And though I’m utterly exhausted, and I can’t guarantee that my sentences are even going make a whole lot of sense, I hope this email will be a good start.

I need you to know what you mean to me.  I don’t think I’ve taken the time to really properly let you know that.  My heart is so full of you, but the words—well, the words just don’t seem to want to come.  

When I talked to your Mum and Dad last night on the phone, I kind of got a bit emotional.  I told them what I’m telling you, that there’s so much I haven’t said, and need to say.  Your dad said I do say it, that all anyone would ever need to do, to know how much I love you, is to read my blog.  

That took me aback.  I mean I know it’s all about us, about the cases, but I’d not thought of it in that way before.  I decided to go back and reread it.  It had been so long.  It felt weird, to revisit two and a half years of my life in that way.  I guess I see what he means.  But it made me wonder if you saw it, and just didn’t say anything.  

I mean, I always thought you hated my blog.  You were always griping about how uncharitable I was to you, or how I misrepresented the cases—making them romantic, adventure stories, rather than exercises in pure logic and deduction.  You always disagreed with my titles!  But, did you see the love between the lines, too?  Did you read the posts I made when you were away those two years?

I sat back and read all that, and sort of realised, I guess, how the papers, and some of our clients came to make those assumptions about us.  I used to be so angry, feeling they were just creating nonsense out of whole cloth, but…  They weren’t were they.  I guess I’ve always loved you, even when I wasn’t ready or willing to admit that to myself.

And I don’t tell you, I don’t think, I don’t tell you, enough, all you mean to me.  You send me round the twist sometimes, but most of the time I enjoy you so much.  Just your company.  Just having you in the house.  

I love your experiments, did you know that?  They’re bloody ridiculous, and they are constantly taking up the whole damn table, and they smell!  But you get so engrossed in them, and when you make some breakthrough, when you get the result you were hoping for, your whole face lights up like a child at Christmas, and you look so young, so impossibly gorgeous.  It takes my breath away.  I miss that.  You’ve not done that much since we’ve come back together.  I suppose you haven’t really had the time.  

I love the way you play the violin.  That was one of the first things you warned me against when we met, and that was ridiculous, you know.  It’s far from your worst trait, in fact it’s one of the ones I love the most.  I can always gauge how you are feeling by the way you play.  When you’re anxious or restless, it’s fast paced, up tempo.  When you’re tired, it’s something soft and low.  When your sad—when you’re sad it always makes my heart ache.

I loved how you would play for me at night.  Maybe I imagined it, but when I would wake from nightmares sometimes, I would hear you push your chair back from the kitchen table, walk through into the lounge, take up your violin, and start to play.  It was always so right.  You always seemed to know what helped.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you kept track of that, which pieces made me fall back to sleep the quickest.  Did you?

I love the way you used to trap me with your eyes.  Did you do it on purpose?  Sometimes I used to think you did, and then I would think I was only imagining it.  You still do it.  How do you have that power?  You just look at me in this particular way, and I feel mesmerised, pinned to the spot.  There’s alway such a sense of breathless anticipation in those moments.  It was a strange sort of agony before these last few months, a constant battle between aching for you and doing some sort of weird, indescribable mental gymnastics to convince myself I wasn’t.  

This is where I lose words, you know.  Where I find I can’t talk about the deep things no matter how hard I try.  When I try to tell you how it was with me, how I loved you, but wouldn’t, wanted you, but couldn’t possibly—those things, well, I don’t think those things would make sense to you.  

Or, maybe they would…  I know you said that you’ve loved me from the start, but didn’t realise it was love until my wedding.  Maybe I’m somehow the same?

But I did love you, Sherlock.  I knew I loved you since the thing at the pool.  I knew I wanted you since just after the thing with Adler.  I knew, and I didn’t.  I wanted, but I couldn’t.  It was this constant battle, and I was so tired, so much of the time.  And besides, I didn’t even know if you felt, or ever could feel, anything remotely the same for me.  So why put the effort into trying to sort myself out?  For what?  For something that would probably never happen?

But then, all of a sudden it was happening!  I still remember the day this past June when I got that first letter from you.  I sat there on the steps outside (yeah, I didn’t even make it in the front door), and I held that letter in trembling hands, and I read it over, and over, and over again.  I thought I must be dreaming.  I could hardly breathe.  

I was so angry!  I was so angry that we had spent all those months apart, that I had shut you out of my life, refused to take your calls, ignored your texts, and yet grieved when they stopped.  I was angry that I still thought of you constantly, dreamed of you, that it was you in my mind when I pleasured myself in bed at night, or in the shower in the morning.  I was angry that your letter felt like a lifeline.

I swore to myself, when you were dead, that if you, by some miracle, came back to me, I would spend my whole life making up for time lost.  Then you did come back!  And instead of doing what I vowed, I chose to be angry.  I didn’t take the opportunity l’d been given.  

I promised myself when you lay in that hospital for months, recovering from that bullet wound, and subsequent heart attack, that I would never take you for granted again, that I would spend every moment possible with you.  Then you shot Magnussen, and you were leaving, and you came back and everything with Mary and Moriarty came to a head, and you did what you did, and I got angry, and I let you go.  I knew then, that I shouldn’t, but still I did.

You sent me that letter in June, it took me months to let go of my anger, and come home to you, and then I wasted so many of our days, wilfully separating myself from you, AGAIN out of anger.

And now?  Now you’re sick, and I see how much more time I’ve wasted—hours, days, weeks of time, being angry.  Days I should have been spending with you at the cottage, staring at you as you worked, forcing meals upon you, walking the dog together, working in the garden while you tended the bees, spending long lazy afternoons exploring all the, thus far, undiscovered delights of your body.

It’s like some beautiful dream, a gift, and it was mine, if I’d just been willing to accept it.  I see that now.  But, I didn’t—I didn’t accept it fully, and I’m so scared, Sherlock.  I’m so scared it may be too late.

I am given these chances over, and over, and over, and I waste every single one, and I am so SICK and TIRED of it.  What if this is it?  What if there are no more chances?  What will I do?  What will I ever do without you?

Know this, okay—know this for sure.  If we get this one last chance, then I am never again going to waste a single minute of it.  I can’t guarantee I won’t get angry.  You know me.  That would be a pretty big ask.  But, I can guarantee you this: I’m going to stay and work it out.  I don’t want to—I CAN’T—spend any more time apart from you.  I’ve been given a ridiculous number of second chances.  That can’t possibly go on forever.

You vowed to me in your email three mornings ago that you would stop running off without me, stop putting yourself at risk.  I believe you.  I saw it in your eyes this afternoon when your fever spiked, and even more so this evening when the vomiting started.  When you and I both knew that this was it, that we might not get another chance, when we both realised how much time we had wasted, and how very precious that time is.

Let’s keep these promises, Sherlock.  I’m going to write it into my wedding vows, and I hope that you will do the same: “Together, or not at all.”

I need you, I want you, I love you.  I don’t want to ever again know what life is like without you here to share it with me.  You are my whole life, you have my whole heart, my whole body, my whole soul.  You have all of me, Sherlock.  You always have, really.  But from this day on, I renew that vow to you, and I’m going to go tell you, to your face, just as soon as you wake up. 

You fight for me, Sherlock, please.  We can do this.  We can beat this together.  

 

Always yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   3:34 AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I meant to write you so much more than I have, but I can’t bear to be away from you for any real length of time, and I’ve had to sleep a little when you sleep, eat sometimes.  Harry’s come down a couple days, reminded me to take care of myself.  I wasn’t very nice to her the first day, but she kept coming.

Greg and Molly have spent more time here at the hospital than can possibly be advisable this close to their wedding, they must have so many last minute things to get done, but they come, and they sit with me, or with your parents, who finally did come down yesterday afternoon.  

That was the worst phone call I’ve ever had to make, Sherlock, and I hope I never have to make it again.  Telling them that if they wanted to see you before—then they better come.  I don’t know how I got through that, but I did.

I think it’s important for you to know, that I did fight with your parents about suiting up to go in and see you.  I fought, and the ward manager fought, but you know your mother.  She’s a force to be reckoned with, isn’t she?!  She reminds me so much of you and your brother.  People don’t say no to her when she gets angry and determined.  

She was all fire: “I’ve already lost one son without getting to say good-bye, and if it kills me, then it kills me, but I’ll be god-damned if anyone is going to keep me from saying good-bye to the other!”

I wish you could have seen it.  You would have rolled your eyes, no doubt, but I know you would have been secretly pleased, deep down.  I don’t really know the whole of what passed between you and your parents, why there seems to be a kind of distance there, but if all this has shown me anything it’s how fiercely they love you.  You’re very fortunate in that.

And it is good they’ve come.  We are down to the wire, now.

This is a terrible thing to say, but firstly, I’m so grateful that Liz Spencer, an old friend of mine from med school, decided to go work in Nigeria last year and nearly died from this, only to survive and come home six months ago.  I’m grateful she’s a universal plasma donor.  I’m grateful she heard about this on the news, and came in to donate.  I’m grateful they didn’t fight me on starting you on ZMapp when we did.  But above all, I’m so fucking grateful that Culverton Smith died in agony this morning.  May he rot in Hell!

Though, that does worry me.  His was a scratch, you must have gotten so much more of that virus than him, and—I can’t think what that could mean, if it means anything at all.  I can’t even think straight at all right now.  All I can think about is you lying in that bed, and me helpless, more helpless than I’ve ever been…

I hate seeing you like this, in so much pain, so weak, and nothing more I can do than what we’re already doing.  It’s up to you, and your body now.  We’ve given you everything we can.  And I can see how hard you’re fighting, Sherlock.  I see it in your eyes.  

Sometimes…  There was a point last night, when I looked into your eyes, and I wanted to tell you it was okay, that you didn’t have to suffer anymore, that you didn’t have to fight for me.  I should have done, but I just couldn’t.  And I hate myself for that.  How could I do that to you?  

I told you I wouldn’t forgive you if you didn’t fight, and now I think, what if you go to your grave thinking I don’t forgive you?!  And I know I should tell you that it’s okay now, that of course you’re forgiven, that I will always forgive you for everything.  But, I can’t.  I don’t dare, because I’m afraid you’ll give up, and if I lose you again—there will be nothing left for me.

And oh God, I am so afraid I am going to lose you…  

You’ve outlived Smith.  I keep telling myself that’s a good sign.  But you know you don’t take the best care of yourself.  You know you forget to eat, and don’t get enough sleep, you know your heart and liver already took a real thrashing last year, and you’re pushing forty.  And when I sit beside you, you look so small, so fragile, so diminished somehow, and all I can think of is all the things I’ve never said—like the fact that my life began, and will end with you.  That I can feel your pain, and your terror in my heart and body like it’s my own, somehow, like you’re written on my soul, and tattooed on my skin, and I’m dying right along with you.

How can I do without you?  Don’t make me have to find out.  It’s the most selfish, heartless thing I’ve ever done, but God help me, I still want you to fight for me, I need you to pull through, Sherlock.  

I’d never loved anyone before you.  I thought I knew what love was, but I didn’t have a bloody clue.  And it was you who taught me, Sherlock.  You who urged me open, and crawled under my skin, and made a home there.  It was you who showed me what real love really was.  Don’t leave me.  Not now, not now that I finally see, finally realise, am finally able to love you back.  

I want us to have a chance at happiness.  I want us to have a life together.  I can’t finally find you only to lose you again.

They say this is it, that in the next 24 hours you will either pull through, or we will lose you.  And I can’t make my mind or heart accept that somehow.  Death has never been permanent with you.  it’s always been some great joke, or some earth-moving miracle.  You’ve always seemed larger than life, and greater than death.  But, when I saw you lying in that bed a few hours ago, so impossible small, and pale, blood crusted at the corners of your mouth, and the light already gone from your eyes, it suddenly hit me how human you are, how human you have always been.  

I don’t know what to do with that.  I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that there is nothing else to be done but wait and hope.  No miracles this time, no grand, final-act reveals or magic tricks, just raw, ugly chance.  What side of the statistics will you fall on by this time tomorrow?  I can’t think.  I can’t think of that.

Please.  That’s all I have left, please…

You have all of me, and if this new day takes you, then I go too.  Together or not at all, remember.

So please, Sherlock—stay.

Yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   7:30 AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

Good-morning!  I know that writing texts and emails is proving a bit of a challenge at the moment, so you can just respond in person when I come up to see you in a few minutes, but you seem okay reading these things, so I thought I’d type up a little good-morning email for you while I was eating my breakfast.  

I miss that, you know—our little morning letters.  Can’t wait to get home, so we can start in on them again.  There are so many things I can’t wait to get home for.  Just to have you about the house again, in bed beside me at night, just to be able to actually touch you without layers of nitrile between us.

The other night when they told me that your fever had broken, that the vomiting was subsiding enough that you were actually being able to ingest water on your own and keep it down, I—I still can hardly believe it.  I cried off and on most of the night.  I was a right mess.  

I mean everyone was a little teary.  Greg and Molly were here, your parents, even my sister.  Everyone was here, did you know?  I don’t think you probably remember much of that.  But I was the worst of the lot, and I couldn’t be buggered to care.  

You have no idea how much I thought I was going to lose you.  I was so certain, and it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had, worse even than that day I watched you jump from the roof of Bart’s—and that’s saying something!  I don’t know how you do it, how you always manage to perform a miracle at the final hour, but I’m so grateful you did!

Good news is, your first lab test from last night came back negative for the virus!  They’ll do another this morning, and again this evening.  Two more the day after that, and I’m guessing that you’ll be able to go home Friday!

You don’t know what a miracle this is!  It feels like a dream just saying it.  I know you’ve read the emails I sent you while you were sick.  And I know you’re upset that you can’t seem to retain much at the moment.  It’s okay.  It will come back.  Give things time to heal and reset.  But, I’ll remind you of the most important part, right now, okay…  

I recognise this for the miracle it is, and I think I’ve used up all my second chances here, so from now on I am 100% committed to us, to making this work, no matter how hard we have to fight, to making you feel loved, every day, in a million tiny ways, to committing to us, and this amazing gift we’ve been given—the chance to share the rest of our lives with each other.

Well, I won’t prattle away too long.  Don’t want to give you too much to have to focus on at once, here.  Just know this:

I love you.  You’re my whole life, and I know that I’m the luckiest man alive, because you love me too, and you’re here with me, and life together always has been, and now always will be fantastic!

All my love,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(tucked inside Sherlock’s suitcase)

01/10/15

 

Sherlock,

 

You’re sleeping, so I thought I’d take the chance to write you a little letter.  They’ve had to bin your phone and laptop, so I thought you’d get this faster, though I suppose we should try and get another phone tomorrow after you leave here.  Whatever would you do without one, eh?!

You need to try not to worry, alright.  I know you’re still feeling poorly, still pretty weak, sore, and a little fuzzy, but you’re actually making remarkable gains!  The doctors all say so.  You’re doing so well, and you’re going to just keep getting better.

You just seemed to be worrying about everything tonight, me getting sick, Gladstone not being properly cared for, the bees, you never recovering fully.  I know it is SO much easier said than done, but please try not to be so anxious.  It will only slow your healing.  

Trust your doctor (that’s me the minute we leave this hospital).  You’re going to be feeling better and back to walking and playing with Gladstone, and tending the bees, and small little cases, and helping me weed the garden (see how I snuck that in there), in no time!

YES, it is going to take time.  And when I said ‘no time’ up there, I meant about 3 - 6 months.  But it’s time we have.  Just let me take care of you a bit, will you do that?

And you have to trust I’m not going anywhere.  You seemed sort of—worried(?) about that tonight, not wanting me to leave and go back to the hotel. Where would I go?!  Where on earth would I rather be?  I’m not going to disappear if you have me out of your sight for five minutes.  I promise.

I get it.  I get when you’ve been through something really traumatic, and then it’s over, and everything’s supposed to go back to normal, and it sort of does, but nothing feels the same anymore.  I get that awful, ever present feeling that the other shoe is going to drop, and that you are a stranger in a strange land just walking down the street.  I felt like that for months after I was wounded in Afghanistan.  I think it’s just part of the process.  Some weird thing your brain does.

Thing is, I didn’t have anybody then.  But, you’ve got me, and I’m not going anywhere—promise.  And you’ve got your Mum and Dad, and Greg and Molly (though I figure they’re going to be kind of preoccupied with each other for awhile).  There are so many people who love you, Sherlock.  And we’re all here.  

I meant what I said in those emails I sent when you were sick.  I’m committed to you, to us.  There are still going to be days where you drive me round the bend, but I’m going to find ways to manage that.  Maybe a little space to cool down, but you don’t have to worry about me leaving you.  Never again, okay.  That’s just NEVER going to happen.

It’s okay to be scared too, scared of the long-term affects of this virus, or even slightly irrational fears like being afraid of infecting me, or of the virus coming back.  You’re probably going get angry at me for saying all this, but, I’m willing to put up with all the stroppy, “I know John!”s you’ve got, because I think you need to hear it:  I know you’re scared.  I can see it in your eyes.  

I don’t know how to make that go away except to just reassure you over, and over.  Time will help.  Time where you can see yourself improving, where you can see that some other disaster isn’t about to strike.  Time where you see our lives, and your health just getting better, and better.  And it will.  And if little challenges arise, then we’ll handle them together.

You’ve been through so much the last few years, Sherlock.  All that time away trying to dismantle Moriarty’s network, all those things you went through then.  Then you come home, thinking you’re going to get back to everything familiar, and everything had changed.  I’d changed.  And I shut you out.  And I hate that I did that.  I really do.  

And then Mary shot you, and you spent months in that hospital recovering, never even really seemed to stop and take the time to absorb what had happened, and then you were killing Magnussen, getting shipped off to Eastern Europe, turning right round and coming back, having to deal with everything that followed, Mrs. Hudson dying, your brother’s seeming betrayal, finding out it wasn’t, only to lose him, never getting to tell him that you knew, that you forgave him?

And then I left you again.  You moved out there to East Dean and I refused to come with you.  

I get angry at myself when I think of it now.  I guess I can’t undo what’s done.  But, what I can do is promise you that I’m here now.  I’m not leaving.  And you’ve got years of things you’ve just not even let yourself look at, or sit with, so if it’s all hitting you now, and if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, that’s normal.  It’s good, even.  We’ll face it together.

I’ve got you, okay.

 

Your ever so loving husband,

 

John

Chapter Text

  

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  2:54 am

to: John

 

John,

 

You’ll likely be angry at me for this.  I know I’m supposed to be sleeping, and here it is going on 3:00 am.  I’m sorry.  I did try.  I fell asleep while we were watching television, but I woke up a couple hours ago, and then you were asleep.  I lay there and watched you for awhile.  

That was the worst of it all, you know, having you behind all that protective garb, not being able to see you properly, to touch you, desperately trying to remember how you had appeared the last time I had looked at you properly (that morning before I left for Eastbourne, and you lay sleeping), knowing that it may have been the last proper sight I would have of you before dying.

You’ll forgive me for using your laptop, won’t you, John?  It’s been so long since I wrote you.  I mean, properly wrote you.  I want to start our little letters and emails again.  I so appreciated the one you stowed in my bag.  

I’m sorry if this isn’t up to my usual standard.  It still seems so difficult to string my thoughts together, to get them from my head onto paper (or screen in this case).  I think one thing, and my traitorous fingers type something totally different.  I know you say this will pass, but it terrifies me to think that it might not.  What would I be John?  Who would I be if this becomes my new norm?  I can’t even think of it!  You tell me not to worry, but how can I not?  What good would I possibly be to you or anyone, if I were nothing more than a common, ignorant bore?!

I will endeavour not to complain.  I am only too aware that all of this is my fault.  If I had not been so foolish, so headstrong, none of this would have happened.  I know you say you’ve forgiven me, but I cannot forgive myself.  I swore to you that I would always be there for you, always, and what did I do?  I turned around and needlessly put myself at risk.

I find my self feeling very unworthy of you tonight, John.  I sit here typing, with you curled beside me, I look at how beautiful, how perfect you are.  I look at the dark rings under your eyes from lack of sleep, and the weight you have lost, and how very deeply you are sleeping now, all signs that you have been through more than you should have ever had to endure these last two weeks, and I want to somehow bundle you away somewhere safe, and warm, and never have another horrible thing touch you.  But you are bound to me, now, and horrible things seem to follow me like the plague follows rats.

It’s such a horrible feeling to know how much you have hurt the one you love, how much you are likely to still hurt them even when that is the very last thing on earth you want to do.  I don’t even want to make you promises anymore, John.  They must sound so horribly hollow to your ears.  What good is a promise you do not keep? 

You are so good to me, too, despite it all.  How you bundled me into bed tonight, watched over me as I ate (I did clean my plate, were you pleased?), and then pulled me close, despite all my protestations to the contrary, and combed your fingers through my hair until I forgot to worry, forgot to ache, forgot everything but you, and the sound of your heart beating beneath my ear.  You even let me watch crime documentaries on the television, when I know you probably would have preferred something different.  Why, John?

I nearly died.  I nearly left you again, when I’ve promised you so many times I wouldn’t.  I deserve your censure, your punishment, not this—not these small, tender kindnesses.

Well, enough for now, I suppose.  My fingers ache a little and I know you would want me to try to fall back asleep.  I will. I will try very hard for you.  

Just make sure to wake me at the agreed time.  If I sleep in I won’t have enough time to get ready, and everything seems to take me twice as long at the moment.

Yours with deepest love and gratitude,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   6:24 AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

 

I got your email!  I’m not angry.  You can’t help the insomnia.  But, thank-you for trying to go back to sleep.  Looks like you were successful at some point, because you’re laying here next to me, looking so lovely I’m sorely tempted to kiss you awake.

Listen, I know that you’re worried about this mental fog, but there are a few things you need to know.  Firstly, in all the cases I have studied (and I studied a lot while you were ill!) mental clarity  returned over time.  For some people it was within weeks, for some it took longer.  Given your age, I want to say a couple of months.  But your recovery has already been remarkable.  Most people who recover this quickly are a good 10 - 12 years younger than you, and were only exposed to small amounts of the virus.  You defy expectations again!  Remarkable, as always.  But, you need to have patience with yourself, okay.  It will take time, and that’s okay.

And you needn’t worry—you will never, could never, be a ‘common, ignorant bore’.  You’re far to big a drama queen for that. ;-)  It’s just one of many reasons I love you.  Please don’t think that there is anything that can ever shake the love I have for you.  There isn’t.  

Would I have agreed to marry you if I was going to run off the very first time ‘in sickness and in health’ was tested?!  Just in case you aren’t sure, the answer is a resounding ‘NO’.  I’m here always, no matter what.  We’ll face this together.  

You also need to stop apologising.  You’re right, I am tired of hearing it.  You do stupid things sometimes Sherlock.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, and I’m not going to say I’m okay with it, either.  You know how upset I’ve been.  But I’ve also seen how upset you’ve been, how sorry, how terrified.  I’m betting you’ll think twice in the future before doing something this stupid again, am I right?  That’s enough for me right now.  

There might have to be conversations about it again in the future if something similar arises, but for now, lets just let it go, and appreciate the gift we’ve been given—the fact that you have somehow managed, once again, to survive the sort of lunacy that would felled more common men, eh!

Can I talk to you about one more thing?  I know you were nervous last night about me getting close.  I know you don’t want to get me sick.  I’m going to respect that.  With the exception of sex, I really think there is almost zero likelihood of you infecting me.  But, we’ll wait if it makes you feel better to wait.  

Was it alright what we shared last night, though, me touching you the way I did—petting your head, rubbing your back?  I don’t want to make things more difficult for you, but I’m so hungry to touch you, and touch is good for healing, Sherlock (and I’m not just saying that for my own selfish reasons, either ;-)).

I think the longest I’ve heard it taking someone to recover and be tested virus free was six weeks.  Now, I know you know your tests have all come back clean, but do you think you would feel better if we waited six weeks from Sept. 20th, which was when you started to show symptoms before we kissed on the mouth?  I’m willing to wait that long to kiss you if it will alleviate your anxiety about it.  Don’t think it will be easy, I want to kiss you right now!  But, I am willing, because I think that if it had been me ill, I would have wanted something similar, no matter how little clinical proof there was that it was necessary.

You tell me when you’re ready.

Okay, last item: ground rules for today…

  1. I will run you a bath in just a moment here, and you will take your time, shave, wash your hair, everything while in the tub.  You don’t have the energy to shower, and then stand by the sink to shave, and spend forever doing your hair (Don’t make that face I know you’re making.  I know how long you spend on your hair!).
  2. You will not over-extend yourself today.  I am going to insist that you come up here and rest between the service and the reception, and we may even leave right after the speeches if I think you’re looking too worn out.
  3. Don’t force yourself to socialise to much.  Let me do the talking.  And I’m NOT just saying that because I think you’re likely to put your foot in your mouth (which let’s be honest, you probably will at least a couple times - no talking about ebola symptoms over dinner, okay!).  I’m saying this because I know that nothing wears you out more than having to be ‘on’ with strangers.  So just don’t feel that you have to.
  4. Eat something please.  Even if you are not fond of what they serve, eat a little.  You need to.  

Alright, that’s it.  Just four rules.  Are we good?

Okay, I love you.  I’m going to order some breakfast, and run your bath.

 

Your’s always,

 

John

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

   

 

 

 

  

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  4:03 am

to: John

 

John,

I’m sore, I’m exhausted, I’m a little hungry (you’ll no doubt be happy to know), and I’m wide awake again with this damnable insomnia.  I’m all these things, and yet I find I am so ridiculously grateful, so filled with something warm, and full, and golden, something that surpasses happiness (joy perhaps?), that I can’t help but feel that none of the rest of it matters.  

The reason for this feeling?  Laying right here beside me—snoring, hair rumpled, drooling all over the hotel linens.  

I adore you, John.  Did you know?  I adore you.

You surprise me again, and again.  I’d never thought it could be like this—love.  I never thought myself capable of feeling this.  Love is a weakness.  I am wholly compromised by it.  But perhaps it is because I am, in so many other respects, weakened and compromised at the moment, that I find your love lending me a certain strength.  Perhaps I have been wrong, to some extent.  Perhaps it is not only weakness.

You sustained me this entire day.  We were only attending this wedding due to my stubborn insistence, and despite how it may have appeared, I was more than aware last night that I had rather overestimated my energy levels. I apologise for that, John.  I will listen to my doctor more assiduously in the future.  You have my word.

May I tell you something?  You took my breath away today—more than once.  I would look across the room and see you standing there, and I would be overwhelmed with fondness, warmth, desire.  That you are mine—it seems like some sort of miracle, and I don’t even believe in miracles.  Or at least I didn’t, until you.

You are so ridiculously attractive all the time!  But seeing you in a room full of people, dressed in that suit that, despite coming off the rack just a couple of days ago, looked absolutely magnificent on you.  It was distracting, and captivating all at once.  Would that I’d never been ill, John.  Would that I could have brought you back to this room and done all the tantalising things the sight of you in that suit, inspired…

I have so much to thank you for today.  Your ensuring that I took care of myself, warding off the press, keeping me occupied during that horrible stretch of speeches (who were some of those people?!), buffering me from unwanted social interactions (though thanks to my status as ‘spectre at the feast’ those were blessedly few and far between), but mostly, John, mostly I want to thank-you for the dance we shared.

There was a time, John—a time not so very long ago—when I thought that such a public display of affection was something that we would never share.  I had accepted it.  You know that I have been more than aware of your level of discomfort with people’s assumptions, both about you, and about our relationship.  I have never wanted you to be uncomfortable.  

But, if I am honest, I must admit that there have been times when I was weak enough that I dared to hope.  No huge gestures, just the little things that any couple might share—your hand in mine as we walk Gladstone, or running the length of my spine as I kneel over a corpse at a crime scene, your feet tangled with mine beneath the table at a cafe, your lips against my temple in the backseat of a cab.  But this one thing, sharing a dance with you…  That was something I never dared hope for.

Do you remember how it was when I taught you to dance for your wedding.  Dusk, and you would always make me close the curtains, because ‘someone might see’.  You knew then, didn’t you?  I could see it in your eyes, feel it in the tension in your body.  You knew I loved you, but you didn’t want to face it.  It’s alright.  I barely realised it myself.  I don’t say this because I am angry, and I hope that it doesn’t make you angry.  I only brought it up as a means of contrast with tonight.

You do realise it’s likely to be in the papers tomorrow.  Do you really not mind?  I don’t.  But the speculation will start now, reporters will likely track down the fact that you have been living with me again, in Friston, that we have both given notice of our intentions to wed.  It will be everywhere in a few days.  I am sorry for that, John.  If it is too much, too soon.

But tonight, you didn’t seem to care.  You held me close, you danced slow and imperfect, you rested your head on my shoulder, and you looked at me like I was some sort of marvel, and for a moment I even thought that you wanted to kiss me, would have kissed me, there in a room full of people, if not for the fact that you’d promised me you wouldn’t.

Thank-you, John.  I truly cannot find the words to express what it meant to me, but thank-you.

Should I try to sleep again?  I suppose that would be for the best.  I’ve never been much of a sleeper, you know that, but this is getting a little ridiculous.  I’m so tired!  And I have noticed that my muscles ache less if I get more sleep, so it’s horribly frustrating that I can’t.  I’m sure you’ll have something we can try once we get home.  Chamomile tea?  Warm milk?  Chamomile tea with warm milk?  Chicken soup?

Oh, I think you’re dreaming.  I’ll go now.  You might need me.

With the deepest of love,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

05/10/15

 

Good-morning,

It feels so incredibly good to be home, doesn’t it?!  I lay in bed this morning and watched you sleep, watched how deeply you were sleeping, finally home again in our bed, and it suddenly struck me how right it all is.  How right that we’re here, together.  It was always right, you know—being together.  Nothing ever felt as it should when we were apart.  I don’t know why I stayed away so long.  I don’t know why I ran from you even after I came home.  I’m sorry Sherlock—really.  So very sorry…

But, do you realise how far we have come so fast?!  Do you know that it was less than six weeks ago that I first set foot in this cottage?  It seems like six years ago!  

When we were at Greg and Molly’s wedding I suddenly remembered how you had planned to spend that weekend with me at the flat in Acton, just to see how things would go.  Do you remember?  And yet you still kept that hotel room booked, so you must have worried that they might not go well, or that everything between us would fall apart long before we even made it that far.  Or was it that you were hoping things would go very well, and you could convince me to spend the weekend at a 4 Star hotel with you, hmm… 

But, anyway, what I’m trying to say is, less than six weeks ago I’d never even stepped foot in this cottage, we’d been apart for months, but now—now we’re living under the same roof again, now we share a bed, now we wear one another’s rings, and own a dog together, and have been to hell and back together, holding one another’s hands the whole way through.  It seems kind of like a miracle, doesn’t it?!  How can one’s life turn so completely around in just a little over a month?!

I suppose it’s really been a lot longer than that, hasn’t it.  I suppose it’s really been almost six years leading up to this moment.  So many ups and downs, so many things to face: pain, loss, betrayal and anger.  But we did face them, and even after everything somehow we found one another again.  

I lay most of the due for that upon you.  You did woo me, after all.  And I was so reluctant at first (a first class idiot, is what I was!).  I should have folded immediately—at that first letter.  I wanted to, you know.  I wanted to drop everything and come running, because that is always my instinct with you.  To be near, to protect, to tell you how fantastic, how brilliant, how amazing you are.

It was hard for a long time after you came back from the dead.  All those old instincts—I was almost embarrassed by them.  I didn’t think that I should be feeling that after everything you had done.  I thought that I should be angry, furious even.  I felt like I should cut you out of my life, make you pay, I guess, for all the ways you’d hurt me.  I felt that I had moved on, and that was healthy, and I should just go with that.  

You know what was wrong with all of that?  Those were all the things I thought I should do.  It was my dad’s fucking voice in my head.  Him, and all the other arseholes I’d let influence me down through the years.  I should have listened to my heart.  I should have done all the things I knew I wanted and needed to do.  Those were simple.  

If I had that night you came back from the dead to do all over again, here’s how I would want it to be.  I really wish you’d come to see me when I was alone.  Caught me at home one day, or even called me up and asked me to come to Baker St..  It would have been easier than popping up in a ridiculous disguise in the middle of my proposal to the person I had just decided to move on with.  You can see that, surely, yeah?

Do you know what I would have done, Sherlock, if you had called me out of the blue, or even if you had showed up on my doorstep one evening when I was home alone?  I would have held onto you and never let you go!  I probably would have said a lot of things I would have regretted in the morning, but I wouldn’t have let you go.  You would have stayed that night, and every night afterwards.  

I spent almost two years waiting for you.  If you had come back even four or five months earlier, everything would have been different.

I wanted to take you to bed that night.  I left in a cab with Mary, and I went back to the flat we shared, and I lay there in the dark, and all I could think about was you, how good, how solid, and warm, and real your body had felt beneath mine on the floor of that restaurant.  I ached.  I ached for you.  

I wanted to get up right then, get in the car and drive to Baker St..  It was 2:00 am in the fucking morning, but I didn’t care.  I wanted to go across town, through the door, up the stairs, down the hall to your bedroom, crawl beneath the sheets, wrap my arms around you, bury my face in your neck and never, ever let you go again.

I didn’t.  I should have, and I didn’t.  But I wanted you to know.  Because it’s important to me now, important that you know that I never hated you.  Not once.  I loved you so much that when you jumped it nearly killed me, and when you came back I felt like it was killing me all over again, and I didn’t know what to do.  So I’m sorry, but please, don’t for one moment think that you haven’t always been the first and last.  You are.  You will be.  I have never loved anyone the way I love you, and I never will.

And now I want to say something really important.  I guess it’s half order, half request.  You need to let me take care of you, Sherlock.  I know you like to be stubborn, to push your limits.  I know how frustrated you get when your ‘transport’ refuses to cooperate, but I can tell that you are still far from well.  You’ve even admitted to me that you have been getting drained and worn down, and have tried to hide it from me so I don’t worry.  Don’t do that.  I worry more if I think you’re trying to hide it from me.  I worry all the time then, because even when you seem alright you may not be.

This is me, okay.  You don’t have to put on some bloody ridiculous charade.  If your tired, rest, if your sore let me run you a bath, or rub some of the pain out, the best I can.  Don’t keep things from me.  

For instance—your hair.  Yeah, I know about your hair.  I know you’re hiding it from me (or trying to), and I know you’re worried about it.  It will grow back, I promise.  And don’t worry, you’re still gorgeous, hair or no hair.  But, it’s likely just some post-illness thinning.  You’re not going to go completely bald, trust me.

You need to let me know when Gladstone’s puppy enthusiasm gets to be too much.  I know you missed him, and he definitely missed you!  I’ve never seen a dog wiggle and cry that much when their master came back!  But, I know it hurts when he jumps on you, and you get tired out quickly playing with him.  I’ll take him when it gets to be too much.  We should be training him not to jump up anyway.  I still hold that you’re way too indulgent with him.  He is horribly spoiled, you know!

Let me cook for you.  Let me check the hives for you.  I can do these things!  

Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to have permission to take care of you?!  I mean I always did it after those first couple of months anyway, and I probably always would have done.  But sometimes I felt like it wasn’t welcome.  And sometimes, though I would have done it without an ounce of anything in return, I would have given almost anything for a kind word, or a brief touch, just something to let me know that you wanted it, that you didn’t mind, that it was okay to love you.

Even after I came home, these last few weeks, it’s felt sometimes as though you think you just have to give me everything, and you never seem to want to let me give back.  Is it because you feel that if you don’t give me enough I won’t be satisfied?  I’ll leave?  I think we’ve established that’s never going to happen, right?  I do truly hope you’ve understood that much by now.

I know we’ve already talked about all this, and I don’t want to belabour the point, but you know what, if there is one thing that’s going to make me feel dissatisfied it’s not being allowed to love you.  I’ve longed to love you, Sherlock!  I’ve longed for your permission.  And now we’re together, we’re getting married, we’ve been to hell and back together.  Now I finally feel I have earned that permission, so please let me.  You’re not a burden.  It’s what I want, Sherlock!  It’s what I’ve wanted for so long!

And I’m not saying don’t love me back.  Please do.  Please keep on doing it.  I love it, really.  Sometimes you’ll need me more than I need you, and sometimes I’ll need you more than you need me.  And I think that’s okay.  We just have to kind of go with it, and trust that it will all balance out in the end…

A few weeks ago, I really needed you.  It was a tough time for me.  I don’t know—I was processing a lot.  I was a handful, I know.  You were so patient with me.  You gave me all the room and space I asked.  You went above and beyond.  I love you for it.  I didn’t deserve that kind of patience and love, and you didn’t deserve my anger, and a lot of the things I said and did out of that anger.  I treated you badly, and I’m sorry.

But I feel like I’ve got my head screwed on properly now.  Almost losing you again was all the perspective I needed.  And now you need me, and I’m here, okay.  I’m here, and I’m going to hold you up now, the way you held me up before.  It’s okay.  You don’t have to be strong for me, pretend that you feel fine, that you’re not worried, or scared.  You just don’t have to pretend at all with me, Sherlock.  If we can’t be real and true with one another, than who can we be real and true with?!

Save the facade for the bloody press.  Christ knows we’re going to have to deal with them enough over the coming months!  

And about that.  I’m thinking I should do a blog entry about us, just where we are now, the nature of our relationship.  I think I mentioned it before, but I really think that now is a good time.   I’d rather all our old readers, clients, the public in general, hear it from us before they start hearing a pack of lies from the The Press.  They can consider it our official statement on the matter.  

I’m going to start working on it this morning.  I’ll let you read the draft before I post it, of course.

Oh, and that reminds me.  The email you sent me early Saturday morning, the things you said about the dance, about the press.  I want to apologise to you, okay.  Officially apologise for all the times, and all the ways in which I’ve made you feel that I’m ashamed of you, or of my relationship with you.  I know that there have been plenty!  I’m taking full responsibility for my cowardice, okay.  And don’t you argue with me.  That’s exactly what it was.  It was nothing but pure, ugly cowardice.

I am proud to love you.  I am proud to be loved by you.  I am so honoured that you want to marry me, and thrilled at the thought of making you my husband.  And all those little things you mentioned, holding your hand, rubbing your back, pressing my feet against yours, and yes even the kisses.  You can have each and every one!  I’m going to really work at that, Sherlock.  I’m going to work at making sure I do each of those things at least once a week.  And if it sets the village tongues to wagging, then let them talk.  I’m sick and tired of living someone else’s life.  I love you, and I don’t care who knows.  I want them to know!

Do you know how rare and amazing you are!  And not just because you are ‘The Great Sherlock Holmes’, but because you are you.  I guess you have always been different, always been a bit above the rest of us, so maybe you don’t know.  But people aren’t like you, Sherlock.  People aren’t so bright, and quick, and logical.  I think you know that part.  You’re a little proud of that part, aren’t you (okay, more than a little!!).  But here’s the bit I think you don’t realise. People aren’t honest, people aren’t true, people don’t love unconditionally.  And you are, and do all those things.  

You are the most honest person I think I have ever met.  Sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it?  Because you and I both know that you have kept me purposefully in the dark about a lot of stuff.  But putting that aside, because a) I know you thought you were doing what was right to keep me safe, and b) we’ve talked about that, and have agreed ‘no more’ so I’m considering it a closed issue, you are honest.  You are brutally honest sometimes.  And sometimes that makes me laugh, and other times I bring it to your attention as a bit not good.  But most of the time it makes me sit up and think.  Because honesty is the opposite of what I’m used to.

That’s not how I grew up.  Everything in our house was secrets and lies, and I guess I just default to that somehow…  Not that I lie outright, but I just don’t talk about things.  I keep them secret and safe by default.  But secrets eat away at you over time, all those unspoken things…  I think part of why I felt so tired and so angry for so long, was because I was constantly keeping secrets all the time, without even knowing.  I had built my whole life on a foundation of secrets, and I got so used to hiding from everyone else, that pretty soon I was hiding from myself too, and I just felt really lost.

Then I met you and it was like looking in a mirror.  You showed me myself, clear as day.  It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once!  I know I’ve told you this a bit before, that though I liked it at first, I ran after awhile, because, as I said earlier in this letter, I was a bloody coward.  

But, I need you to know that despite the running, despite the fact that sometimes I get really uncomfortable (almost panic, maybe?), I do love that about you.  I don’t want you to ever think that somewhere deep inside I’m just the same as everyone else, that I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Piss off!’ in my head when you dig a little and try to dig up what’s under the surface.  I mean I guess I do think that sometimes if you catch me at a really bad moment.  But there’s not venom in it, is what I’m trying to say.  Really deep down, even when I’m thinking that, deep down, beneath it all, there is always love.  I will always love you, and I do love you for helping me to see the things I’ve hidden from myself, it’s just difficult in the moment.

Wow, sorry, I sort of got wildly off track there.  Back to what I was saying before about how amazing you are, about the unconditional love.  That’s the thing that has surprised me the most, I think—how your heart is just as large (maybe larger) than that great brain of yours.  

I don’t know why it is a surprise.  Maybe it isn’t really.  Maybe I always knew somewhere deep down.  Or, maybe I hoped beyond all hope.  But, you have to admit you worked hard at the facade you presented to the world, and though sometimes I would see little glimmers of you shining through the cracks, I had no choice but to accept the ‘you’, that you chose to give me.  But, I’m so glad that you stopped, that you finally exposed that deeper part of yourself.

Because I’m in awe of that man, Sherlock.  Even more so than I am in awe of the Great Detective (which is saying something, believe me!).  There is something so—and I really don’t know how to say this without it coming off as sort of demeaning, and I don’t mean it that way at all, okay.  I think it only comes across that way because the English language is so bloody limited, and maybe because of all the weird expectations everyone seems to place on what’s ‘proper’ or ‘normal’.  Jesus, I’m rambling again.  Sorry!  

I’ll just come right out and say it, then, okay.  There is something so innocent about you, almost child-like sometimes.  I love that.  I love how…  Christ, what is the right word?!  Guileless (thank-you thesaurus)!  I love how guileless you can be in these rare moments.  I think I see the you that must have been before the world took it’s toll.  There are just small, brief glimpses, but I love those moments.  See, I’m getting all teary just thinking about it.

When you were sick, maybe it was because you were too ill to have any of your usual defences up, or maybe it was because you chose to let me see you, I don’t know, but you seemed so open.  There was a point, when you were creeping up on the worst of it, where everything that was the person you’d built to survive this world just sort of dropped away, and all that was left was you—open, raw, honest, scared, but so beautiful.

I’ve always loved you.  I need you to know that.  But, in that moment, I felt like I fell in love with you in a way that was something new, different, deeper.  I knew you loved me before that, but there in that hospital room I saw the great heart behind the great brain, and I knew.  I just knew how blessed I was, how lucky, how honoured I was that it was me you had chosen to love.  People wait their whole lives to be loved the way you love me.  And most never find it, because honestly, I think it is so rare that it almost doesn’t exist.  But you love me that way, and I don’t know why I’ve been so fortunate, what I’ve ever done to deserve it, but I want to love you back just as much, Sherlock.  More, if I can manage it.  Will you let me?

Well, I’ve gone on long enough.  Here I’m supposed to be trying to keep these letters to a minimum so as to not tax your poor head too much, and I’ve rattled on for pages!! I hope you didn’t feel that you needed to read this all at once.  I hope you broke it into chunks.

Anyway, I’ll let you go now.  Come tell me what you want for breakfast when you’re ready.  

 

Yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left beside John’s plate at dinner)

 

05/10/15

 

John,

 

I’m sorry about this morning. I am being ridiculous about my hair.  I should probably just shave it all off so I don’t have to wake up every morning to bits of it on my pillow and in my comb.  It’s only that I thought we might marry soon (I do need to pick up my register document tomorrow), and I’d prefer if I wasn’t bald in our wedding photos.

I’m sorry too about my excessive worrying.  You mustn’t think you have to fuss.  I feel as though all you do is care for me, and I know you say you don’t mind, that you even enjoy it, but—I’m not accustomed to it John.  I like to feel that I have something worthy to offer you, not that I am some helpless lump of a man, couch-ridden, bald, unable even to bathe and shave without having to sit down and rest.  It’s intolerable!

I am disgusted with myself, I could hardly blame you if you felt the same.

I sit here in the shade of this tree watching you tend to the bees, mow the grass, and I feel my invalid status acutely.  I should be helping you!  You shouldn’t have to do it all on your own.  I fear you will come to resent me, as well you should.  Why would you want to still marry me if I was useless.  You could have anyone, John, anyone at all!  

What if this pain never goes away.  What if I can’t run about on cases as I once did?   What if I am incapable of giving you the pleasure you deserve when we make love?  What if I do go blind?  What if this mental fog (which is frustratingly inconsistent) never fully goes away?  What would I be then, John?  What would I have to offer you?

I hate that at the same time I have been reduced to nothing, I find that I want you so very much!  

I did love your letter this morning—all those things you said, how things might have been different if only I had stopped to think, had not been so very ignorant in how I chose to come back to you.  Would you really have come to me, if I had returned to you sooner?  Would you have taken me to bed that first night?  How different everything might have been.  

I can’t lie.  I have thought of it so many times—how I might have done things differently, if I had not been so eager, if I had not ploughed ahead so thoughtlessly, and then panicked when I saw you sitting there.  

The mere sight of you crashed into me with all the force of some cataclysmic event.  It tore me apart, burned me whole.  Even though I had dreamed of seeing you again every day since I had left, I hadn’t expected that.  I hadn’t expected the onslaught of emotion, the longing—just the need to look, to touch, to taste, to breathe you in, to have all of you again in an instant!  My brain whited out with it, and I didn’t know what to do.  All I could think of was to make you smile.  Just to see your smile again.  And of course I hopelessly bungled it.  I’m sorry, John.  I’m so sorry.

How I would have loved it if you had come to me that night, as you described, climbed the steps to our flat, and let yourself into my room and my bed.  I was so hungry for you.  I would never have turned you away.  You have always been the only thing, the only one I have ever really wanted.

And I would like to say that there really is no need to apologise for your discomfort over people’s assumptions about you, and the nature of our relationship.  It was difficult for you, I know.  I’m pleased you’ve come to a place where it isn’t so much, and of course you wanting to hold my hand, to touch me, to let people know what we are now, of course I am pleased by that, pleased to a point that I don’t feel I have words adequate enough to describe how much.  But, I wouldn’t want you to think of yourself as a coward, John.  You aren’t.  

If you were a coward we wouldn’t be here now, together.  And I don’t just mean as husbands, I mean at all.  If you had been a coward I would not be here, because I would have died long ago.  You have saved me so many times, John.  If you were a coward, you would not be here now, because you would not have survived all you’ve been through—growing up in that house, in Afghanistan, after I left, after losing so much.  You survive because you are strong.  You survive because you are brave.  I didn’t lie when I said once that you were the bravest man I have ever known.  You are!  You always have been, and you always will be.

I love you so much.  I want you so much.  And yes, I need you so much.  But it is that last point which has become such a challenge for me now.  This is not the same as when I needed you by my side to ground me, to keep me right, safe, alert and clever.  No, now I need your help from the couch when I have laid too long, your help to walk the dog because I can hardly make it to the gate at the end of the lane.  I need you to constantly reassure me, to quell this ever present anxiety over my own ineptitude and inability to do the things I have always done, the things which are my pleasure and my joy.  And that is something altogether different.  You deserve something, someone better, John, and I cannot help but feel that I am failing you.

 

Yours with deepest affection,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on the table beside Sherlock’s chair)

11/10/15

 

Good-morning,

 

Hope today brings better things for you.  I know you’ve been down.  I’m trying to help, but I know that sometimes nothing can help.  I am going to try my best though, Sherlock.  

Please don’t be upset about your hair.  I think that cutting it quite short was the right choice.  It will be less painful for you as you won’t notice as much when you lose it.  And after one more cut I think you can count on it starting to grow back.  Promise.  I know you like to pretend that you’re not bothered by it, but I know better.  You’re gorgeous with curls or without, just so you know.

I hope we’re all clear on the stuff with James.  Yeah, I loved him once, but I hardly knew it myself at the time.  And no, I don’t still feel that way.  Yes, he’ll always have a place in my heart.  Yes, I’ll always be fond.  But it’s you I want to spend my life with.  It’s you I adore.  You and I have been through so much together, we’ve enjoyed and endured so much, and I knew from the moment we met that you were going to be the great love of my life, so please don’t fret.  I love you, I want you, I’m committed to you.  You, Sherlock.  Are we good?  That clear?  Okay, good.

I’m glad the drops Dr. Jones gave you are helping with your eyes.  We’ll watch it.  You’re not going to go blind.  I know what you’re thinking—I can’t guarantee that.  Okay, you’ve got me there.  But I know you.  You can probably keep that from happening out of sheer force of will.  Besides, things look okay right now.  You’re not having the kind of severe symptoms that some survivors have reported.  Try not to worry, okay.

The energy levels and the joint and muscle pain—yeah, I know that’s worrying you the most.  Listen—it’s only been a couple of weeks since you first came down with the symptoms.  For Christ’s sake, Sherlock, give it time!  You walked up the lane and back with me and Gladstone last night.  And yes, you were tired and sore when you got back, but you did it, and that was difficult for you even a few days ago.  You’re doing really, really well.

I get this impression that you feel that if you’re not up and running again asap, then I’m somehow going to be disappointed, or think less of you.  That’s just not true, okay.  I’ll be honest, the occasional bout of whinging aside, I’ve loved having you settled, and here with me all day.  I’ve loved just putting my feet up and watching telly in the middle of the day with your head in my lap.  I’ve loved learning how to care for the bees while you sit and gripe at me when I’m not paying enough attention to detail.  I love just sitting and talking to you.  

We’ve always been the kind to keep busy, and let’s be honest, that was probably so we could avoid talking about stuff, facing stuff.  But, now that’s done, now that we know how we feel about one another, now that we’re trying not to hide things, it’s nice to just sit about and chat.  I’m learning a lot about you, really.  

I like hearing about what it was like when you were a kid.  I wish I’d known you then.  I know we would have been four years apart, not walking in the same social circles at all.  I know it would probably have been unlikely we would have ever even noticed one another, but…  I don’t know…  I like to just think about it.  

Especially Uni.  I wish I’d known you then.  Then I would have noticed you for sure.  Couldn’t have helped myself.  I wonder if things would have been different for both of us if we’d met then.  It would have been harder to ship out after my schooling was done, that’s for sure.  It would have felt like dying to leave you, and I wouldn’t have had a choice.  The military was the only way I could afford med school.  

Hmm…  Maybe it wouldn’t have been better after all.  I don’t think I could love you this much and leave you, and I would have fallen head-over-heels for sure, if I’d met you then.  I know, I would have.

Oh hey, just got a call from my estate agent.  She sold the flat in Acton!  Good price too: £549,950.  We should talk about what we want to do with our finances, yeah?  I know you don’t think about that sort of thing, but I don’t even know how much Mycroft left you, and even if we keep our own bank accounts, we should have a joint one, maybe?  I mean I think we’ll need to for some things.  Like this cottage.  You should add me to the deed, really.  We should really buy a car, too.  Figuring out the bus schedule to Eastbourne is getting to be a bit much, and it will help when we start needing to travel again for cases.

We need to plan the wedding, too.  I know it’s not much, but there are invitations to send, and a few small details to nail down.  You wanted a cake, yes?  I think we’ll just do something here afterwards?  I had been picturing something in the garden, but—well, I think maybe we should wait awhile.  I’m not saying that because I’m changing my mind (yeah, I just thought I’d head that idea off at the pass).  I’m saying that because I know you’re upset about your hair, and because I know you’re energy is low, and I know that you probably want to be looking and feeling your best.  So we could wait a little, yeah?  Maybe Christmas time, or shortly there after?

I won’t lie, I would kind of like to make love to my husband on our wedding night.  Call me a romantic if you want, but there it is…  Maybe Christmas Eve?  I know that’s a bad time to ask people to come, but it’s just a few, and I’ve got some unpleasant memories of Christmas Eve (okay, more like a lot) that I’d kind of like to replace with nice ones, so…  Let me know what you think.

Well, I think I hear you stirring, so I’d better wrap this up and start your breakfast.

 

Love you,

 

John

Chapter Text

  

Chapter Text

(hand delivered to John over dinner)

11/10/15

 

John,

 

You will forgive me if this letter is a bit of a mess, won’t you.  I find myself very ‘off’ today, scattered, and weary, and beset with emotion I can neither name nor control.

I’m sorry I got angry with you—really, very, truly sorry.  I find that I am so much not myself these days.  Or perhaps it is more that I am too much myself, and you must trust me when I tell you that that is something that is wholly intolerable.  I will work much harder to control these little outbursts of emotion.

I’m not angry that you loved James.  You are free to love whomever you wish.  I am being selfish, and childish.  It is jealousy, I suppose—and jealousy is so irrational.  I don’t know why I can’t bear the thought of your heart ever having belonged to anyone else.  You had well over a handful of girlfriends, and were constantly flirting with women while we shared the Baker St. flat.  I accepted it.   It was what you liked.  I wasn’t.

Maybe that is what made them easier.  I simply wasn’t what you liked.  Not me specifically, but me in general.  Women were what you liked, and though you showed clear signs of attraction toward me, you didn’t seem to want to follow through on them, so I assumed I must be a bit of a rarity in your experience.  But, I was not, it seems.

And you’ve chosen me, so I’ve no right to be this upset.  But, I am, and I don’t understand it at all, John.  I wanted to be the only one.  I wanted to be your only one.  It’s very stupid of me, but it’s how I felt this afternoon when I shouted at you.

I should warn you, I suppose I should have warned you years ago, of why it is I don’t do this, don’t fall in love, don’t feel these sorts of things.  They get rather out of hand quite quickly.  Does it make sense?  I feel it doesn’t, quite.  But, what I’m trying to say is that I am so unruly, so overwrought when it comes to the heart.  My heart is a stubborn, petulant, irredeemable child.  

You should have seen me, John, when I was a child—how I would fuss.  I drove poor Mummy practically to distraction.  Once, after a particularly horrid tantrum, I found her in the pantry crying, and I had done that, John.  I had made her cry because I could not control my emotions, because I would reach a point where I lost all ability to be rational.  I hated it!  It’s awful, can you see!  It’s awful to have no control, and then to hurt those you love.

Today I hurt you.  And you’ve been more patient than I deserve.  You asked me a moment ago what you needed to do to make this better for me.  It’s the wrong question, or rather, it’s not yours to ask.  I should be asking you that.  What do you need, John?  I’ve been horrible, and you’ve been patient.

I’ve lied to you by omission, John.  I’ve always tried my very best to give you my best face forward.  It’s what you deserve—only the very best.  But, I see now that it’s not sustainable.  And I feel so ill-equipped to be what you deserve at the moment.  All my energies are needed just to manage my daily needs.  Basic executive functioning is all I have room for.  Everything else is falling away, and soon you will see how truly unbearable, how ungovernable I really am.  I’ve lied by omission because I have only ever endeavoured to show you the me I want to be.  The me I truly am, is—I don’t know, John, but he’s not something people like, and certainly not something people love.

If I continue to lose control like this, and cause you hurt, or upset, and if you find it’s unbearable, if you change your mind, then I won’t hold it against you.  I will understand, John.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

(sitting on Sherlock’s bedside table)

12/10/15

 

Sherlock,

 

Good-morning.  I wanted to start the morning out like this, because as much as we talked last night, and after everything that happened, I wanted to get this all down in writing.  I want you to have this, here, on paper, so that you can pick it up again whenever you find yourself having doubts (that’s important I think), or read it in bits and pieces if it’s too much all at once.

I won’t lie.  Last night was a shock.  I’ve not seen you like that in a very long while, not since Gladstone was lost, not since the night I walked out and you didn’t know where I went, not since Grimpen, and I think that last night may have been worse than all of those put together.  You know I’m not good with emotions—well, not high emotion like that.  I hope I handled it a little better this time.  

I think we need to talk about this, because it was made more than clear to me last night, that past a point you just become incapable of talking, and that’s okay.  But, you need to tell me what helps and what doesn’t ahead of time, so that when it happens again, I know.  Deal?

This is something you should have told me about years ago.  Please don’t do this anymore, okay.  Don’t hide things, important things like this, from me, because you think I won’t love you if I know.  

I know you told me a few months ago, in one of your letters, that you felt that I shut you down when you get like this, that you felt that I preferred ‘The Great Detective’.  And I know that I have done things that have made it seem that way, but it’s not true, Sherlock.  What I prefer is you.  The real you—even like in Grimpen, like the night I walked out, even like last night.   You just don’t get it, do you?  I love YOU.  All of you.  The real you.  It hurts to know that you’ve been hiding all this, that there were things I did over the years, like that night in the inn, that made you feel you had to hide it.

You’re right, Sherlock.  It’s not sustainable.  We have to find a way to make this work.  You need to tell me what you need when you are in a place where you can, not when you’re at the breaking point and run out of words.

I hope to Christ that we are clear on the James issue now.  Are we?  I meant everything I said last night.  I understand why you were hurt.  Was it irrational?  Sure.  But you know me, I’ve been jealous of practically everyone who came within a few feet of you down through the years.  In the moment I always knew I was being ridiculous, but it didn’t change how I felt, and it never seemed to change the fact that I reverted instantly to a tetchy sixteen year-old itching for a fight.  I love you, I want you, and I never thought you even noticed I was alive sometimes.  So the minute you showed anyone else even the slightest bit of attention it just lit something ugly and red hot in my chest, and there was no controlling it.

So, all that to say, that everyone gets a little fierce and ungovernable when it comes to the people they love.  The heart will always be a bit wild.  I’m trying not to be scared by that anymore.  It is what it is, I guess.  You don’t have to be afraid of it either.  I don’t expect you to be this great, aloof brain-on-legs.  Your jealousy was fine.  

I just hope that you know that everything with James is done.  It was done and over with before I even met you.  What we had was brief, and unspoken, and even before I came back to London he’d cut me off.  I grieved.  I moved on.  I met you, and my life was never the same again.  You’re my everything, okay.  I feel like somehow some part of me was waiting my whole life for you.  So—there.  I guess that will have to be enough.  You are my only one, Sherlock.  You always will be.

Now back to what happened last night, the—what are we calling that when that happens?  Meltdown?  Too clinical?  You choose.  But, whatever you call it, it needs addressing.  

You seem to have a good grasp on preventing it for yourself when you’re in good mental and physical health, but you’re not right now, and I don’t want you wasting energy you should be using to heal in trying to maintain all these carefully constructed walls.  Jesus, Sherlock, it must be exhausting.  You must be exhausted all the time, even before you got sick!

So we need to work together and set some household ground rules, or something.  Things that are going to keep you from getting to the point where you lose control like that.  It exhausts you. I saw that.  I could barely get you into bed.  That just won’t do, not when you’re already so weak.

Last night the thing with James was the trigger, yes?  But was that it?  It was a busy day yesterday.  Lots of talk about the wedding, and that wind that came blustering in, all the hurry to get the hives tended to, and the garden, all your worry over your hair, and eyes, and the pain, boredom, frustration over your inability to be active.  All those things  would deplete anyone’s reserves.  

You went to the room upstairs, and I kind of forced you to come to dinner, didn’t I.  Would it have been better if I brought the food to you and left you to your own devices for awhile?  We don’t have to share all our mealtimes.  

I forced you to eat at dinner even though I think you didn’t really like it.  I just wanted you to eat.  You need to keep your strength up, but if you really didn’t care for it, you could have just said so.  

I forced conversation after you gave me that letter.  You have to know that my intentions were good.  I just wanted you to know that I love you no matter what, but you were pretty much done by that point, weren’t you, and I pushed it.  And then when you started to spiral down, I pushed it some more.  I really bollocksed it all up.  I’m sorry.

You tell me what you need, and I’ll work really hard at committing that to heart, okay.

I need you to know something.  I’m not leaving.  I’m not changing my mind.  It feels like I’ve waited my whole life for you.  Why on earth would I let you go?!  I don’t know who told you what, and when, that put this idea into your head that you have to maintain this facade of control even with the people you love, and who love you the most.  That’s complete and utter bollocks!  You’re not cold, and unfeeling and aloof, Sherlock.  You’ve never been, and thank Christ for that!  You’re brilliant, extraordinary, passionate.  You burn bright, and hot, and wonderful!  You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met, and when I say that I mean all of you, even last night, even that.

You just feel so much, and I wish I’d been clever enough to see that years ago.  I used to think I knew it, saw it sometimes, but then I would second guess myself, because you would resurrect all your walls again with a vengeance.

There’s no bloody gold star for being a rock, Sherlock.  There’s no trophy for pulling off the perfect impersonation of an iceberg.  

I used to never understand why things were so tense with your parents, your brother.  Your parents, especially, seem so nice.  They are nice, I think.  But, maybe—maybe it’s just this?  It’s this feeling that you have to pass, to not upset them, to not be difficult?  If so, I get why you prefer to keep a little distance.  It must be exhausting.  I’m sorry if you feel that way.  I’m sorry if somehow that was expected of you as a kid.  I don’t know.  Maybe you will tell me more some day when you feel up to it…

But for now, with us, it’s really not necessary, okay.  You don’t have to pretend with me.  I’d prefer it if you didn’t.  Did you know that one of the things I love about you the most is your honesty.  Some people call it blunt, or rude, and it is sometimes in the way you present it, but you tell the truth that other people just dance around, and that’s amazing.  That’s helped me to be more honest.  Yeah, you being you helps me.  And that means you being you, no matter what that entails.  Not just being blunt and honest about what you’re thinking, but also feeling free to feel what you feel.

I admit I react badly.  I’m sorry for that.  And I can’t promise that I’m not going to react badly again.  I’ve said, I’m not good with high emotion, and I’m certainly not used to it from you, because you’ve always chosen to keep that from me.  But, I will try to be better, and I want you to know that I would rather have you just let it out than expend all the energy it takes to hold it in.  I’m not going to think less of you.  I promise.  If you can’t be honest and open with the person you love, than who can you be open and honest with, hmm?  You taught me that.  So it’s time you listen to your own advice, okay.

Help me help you.  You seemed so exhausted after all that last night.  Was it right what I did?  All I could think was to take you to bed, in the dark and the quiet, and hold you just as close as I could.  You didn’t seem to push me away, so maybe it was okay?  I was afraid that touching you at all might be wrong, you seemed none too happy when I tried to get you off the floor of the lounge, and into the bedroom.  But after we got into bed, after I stripped you down, and held you close, you seemed to calm and fall right to sleep.

If you’re too tired today to talk about this, and you want to wait until tomorrow, or if you want to write it all down because that’s easier than it’s fine.  Whatever works.  I just need to know how to help you, and what things I can take off your plate, what I can minimise to prevent you from getting overloaded right now.

The most important thing in the world to me is you—your health—every aspect of it. I want you to feel better, I want you to put all the weight back on that you lost, and for your hair to grow back, and your pain to lessen, and your energy to return.  I want for you to be less scared, less worried.  I want all that, not because I need you to be perfectly healthy in order to love you, but because I hate to see you so unhappy, struggling so much.  I want to be whatever it is you need to help you gain that back.

If it’s a slow process, okay.  There’s no rush.  I’ll be here with you through it all.  And even when you are recovered from this, there’s still all the usual things life can throw your way.  Do you think I’m going to up and leave when we’ve got more tough things to face?  Do you think I’d leave you because you got angry at me, or shouted, or cried, or just generally lost control?  Would you leave me for that?  I have done, and you’re still here.  Why ever would you think that I would do anything different?

So, yeah.  I’m here.  I’m yours.  Always.  Full stop.

I’m going to go check on you now.  You’ve been sleeping for hours.  I’m glad.  I think you needed it.  All that insomnia can’t have been doing you any favours.

I love you, you great idiot.  And we’re going to get through all this together.  It’s going to be okay, I promise.

 

Yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

(hand delivered to John over dinner)

12/10/15

 

John,

 

I’m sorry.  I need you to know that first.  I’m so sorry—sorry about last night, sorry that today I’m still quite useless, sorry that I couldn’t tell you what I needed, sorry I was so upset about James, sorry that you have to see me like this, have to take care of me like this, have to be subjected to this kind of behaviour.

I know you will say I needn’t be sorry, but if it’s hurting you, then I am sorry.

I will try to answer all the inquiries in your letter, so that you can be better prepared next time.  My head’s still a mess today.  I fear this will all make no sense.  But, I want to try.

This is difficult, because my approach has always been to avoid those things happening in the first place, and if they do, then to drag myself off somewhere, alone until it passes.  I’ve not had the luxury of closeness.  Last night, your taking me to bed, holding me the way you did after the worst of it had passed, that did help.  I would like you to do that again.  I hope you don’t need to, but I feel so—not right somehow.  I’m worried it might.  I apologise ahead of time if it does.

May I ask you one small favour?  Last night, during the worst of it, you put Gladstone out.  I know you thought that it was for the best, because he was clearly upset.  But—I think he wants to help.  And I think I would like him to try.  That probably doesn’t make much sense, but sometimes just the weight of him is comforting, the way he presses against me and tucks his head under my chin.  Unless he seems truly traumatised, do you think he could stay?  We could try it at least…

I’m sorry that I’m still quite useless today.  You’ve been—you’re so good to me, John.  I don’t deserve it.  I know that.  But, I find that I am so grateful.  Thank-you for not requiring much of me today, for not requiring all the conversations I know that you were (quite rightly) anxious to have.  I will be better tomorrow, I promise.  

You don’t know how comforting your mere presence is.  I enjoyed spending today in bed with you and Gladstone.  The closeness of you is grounding somehow.  I liked that you lit a fire in the bedroom hearth to chase the chill away, that you let me rest my head in your lap, that you pet it while you read your letter aloud to me.  I like that you let Gladstone stay (I dare say he liked it too), even though he’s getting so big, and takes up so much of the bed now.  

I’ve not had that since I was a very small child, and even then, sometimes I would choose to be contrary about it, about the closeness, and the touch, and then mummy and father seemed to think I didn’t want it at all, so it stopped entirely.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want it at all, it’s just that I didn’t want it sometimes.

Today was perfect, though.  You were perfect.

I was going to talk to you about everything in your letter here, wasn’t I, but—I still can’t seem to think clearly enough.  I’m sorry.  It’s very frustrating.  And now I don’t know if it is the fog from being sick, or the last of what happened last night still addling my brain.  There is so much I want to tell you John, to try and be helpful, but now I can’t.  I’m sorry again.

I even hate this letter.  It’s not my normal fare, is it.  I sound small, and tired, and pathetically stupid, even to my own ears.

Oh—one more thing that I really do want to tell you.  I do understand about James.  I’m sorry I got so fiercely jealous.  I didn’t expect it.  I liked James.  I responded to his comment, not just because I was being childish, and jealous, and wanted to respond first, but also because I really did feel a sort of affinity with him at your wedding.  We had both loved you and lost you.  I know that in his case he was the one who chose to cut things off with you.  But, I also know that you felt that my jumping and leaving was me choosing to cut ties with you.  You felt abandoned by both of us, and I think that both of us had regrets about leaving and losing you.

I don’t know why I’ve been lucky enough to get you back, but I don’t want to ruin it, John.  Tell me again that I’m not ruining it.

 

Yours with deepest love,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on the the tea table beside John’s chair)

 13/10/15

 

John,

 

Last night you were right about everything.  How did you know?  How is it that in matters, such as that, you are always right?  I suppose I should be worried, but I trust you, John.  I trust you not to endanger yourself and leave me.  You won’t, will you?  You would never do that to us?

I hadn’t realised how I missed you, the weight of your body on mine, the heat of your lips against my skin.  This morning my throat and chest still bear your marks.  I wear them proudly.  They are evidence of the best kind of medicine, a prescription that only you can write and fill.

I had not realised how much I craved you, missed you.  I’m not used to paying much heed to those desires.  They had always seemed a nuisance until I met you, and to be honest I wasn’t much bothered by them until you, either.   But then you are the exception to almost everything, aren’t you John.  You are the one who has crawled under my skin, and into my heart, and who has set my body aflame.  

I suppose I will need to attend to these things from now on.  Now that my body has grown accustomed to the closeness, the comfort, the pleasure of yours, it seems it get’s quite restive without a little top up now and again.  I suppose I should consider that a horrible inconvenience, but I can’t really bring myself to.  Treating the condition is such a pleasure it rather erases any inconvenience caused.

There are so many things I would like to try.  I know my skills are sadly lacking, and for that I apologise.  You are right.  I do want to do everything perfect the first time, but in this it is only because you deserve it.  You deserve perfection.  You deserve the very best I can give you.  You give me so much, John—so much.  I only hope I can give even a fraction of that in return.  

You know it has been difficult for me, being here, away from London, fewer cases of interest, and only me, this cottage, our small garden and Gladstone to tempt you to stay.  I fear you will grow tired of us.  I know you well enough to know you crave running.  And now—now I am not sure what I will ever be capable of after all is said and done with this convalescence.  

If I cannot offer you cases, if my brilliant brain is dimmed, perhaps I might at least make it up to you in the bedroom?  Something—anything to make this worth your while.  You must tell me, John.  You must tell me what you need and crave.

You are so careful with me.  With the exception of that night in Acton, you often treat me like spun glass, but I feel something coiled tight and hot in you.  Something you are holding back (please know I mean this as no kind of censure or accusation, simply observation).  If you are holding it back for your own sake, then that is your right, and I will say nothing more about it, but if you are holding back for my sake, please don’t.  I rather like seeing you let loose now and again.  There is a slightly wild and dangerous edge to you that I find thrilling and arousing all at once.  Don’t worry you will damage me.  I know how to say ‘no’, John.  You can rely on that. 

I would not mind the bruises of your fingertips on my flesh, you know.  I stood in the bath this morning, and examined the bruises you sucked and nipped into my skin last night, and it sent a little thrill down my spine.  Each one triggering small, vivid vignettes of physical memory, as I traced my finger over them—the heat of your breath, the scent of your hair, the weight of your body, the lovely sounds you make as your pleasure builds, small grunts, drawn-out sighs, toe-curling moans.  Perfect.

And now I have the memory of them to carry me through the day.

And with that, I should head out to the clinic.  You are still sleeping, so I will leave this for you here.  Text me when you wake up.

 

Love,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on the the tea table beside John’s chair)

14/10/15

 

John,

 

This morning I feel very overwhelmed with—gratitude, I think.  Love, fondness, warmth, all those things, but mostly gratitude.  Why?  Because of you.  Because of your patience, your kindness, your efforts to reach me even when I make that so very difficult.

Firstly, I owe you an apology for yesterday afternoon, don’t I.  So, I will start with that.  I am truly sorry, that I made you feel as though I was rejecting your declarations of love.  I wasn’t.  I accept them.  They are just hard for me to…  

You see, even now, I find it so difficult to find the words for these sorts of things, but I will try.  I just beg your patience.  And even in saying that I know it isn’t necessary.  You have been so good, John.  You have been so indescribably, undeservedly good to me these last few weeks…

I was not rejecting your declarations of love.  They are just hard for me to accept, or rather to—to truly absorb, I suppose.  You remember when we met, that first night, and I was stupid enough to rattle off all those deductions about you and your sister’s phone in that cab ride to Brixton?  You remember I told you that most people would tell me to ‘piss off’?  I suppose that after a lifetime of ‘piss off’, it still feels like a small miracle every time ‘fantastic’, or ‘extraordinary’, or ‘brilliant’ drops from your lips.  

It’s not that I don’t know that I’m extraordinary and brilliant.  I’m not blind or stupid.  But, I’m not used to other people feeling that those things are something to be admired, and loved.  I’m not used to people taking my bluntness, my ‘honesty’ as you like to call it, in good faith.  I expect a fist to the mouth in moments like those, not your lips pressed tenderly to mine.  So, please know that when I seem to argue with you, or play devil’s advocate when you express your fondness, your regard, your love (and let’s be honest, John, your borderline worship) of me, it is only because I have rarely if ever experienced it before, and I find it difficult to process, to believe.

Oh, I had a support of a kind growing up.  Things at home were, I feel, certainly easier for me than for you.  But mummy and father were getting on in age when they had me, and they didn’t have the time or energy to deal with me, and Mycroft always did like to play mother, and you know what he was like.  I am rather used to being perceived a nuisance.  Sometimes I think I play the nuisance with you just so that I might garner a little attention.  It’s very childish, and I apologise.

But, yesterday was not that.  Yesterday was just me—not understanding, not quite being able to believe that you love me in those ways.  All those things you texted me while I was at the clinic, all of them so beautiful.  And I do understand feeling those things, John.  I feel them toward you.  But, it is seeing it reflected back to me that seems difficult.  You must understand that everything I feel for you, or at least my conscious perception of that, is relatively new.  I have not felt before what I feel for you.  So there is that.  And then there is the fact that having what I feel for you (which is admittedly already wildly illogical, and frustratingly inconsistent with what I have previously observed about these sorts of relationships), reflected back on me makes absolutely no sense to my mind.  

What I said before, about your investment in this relationship being based on what I can offer you in the way of running, cases, the need for the adrenaline rush—all of that was true.   I do believe (or have believed) that you want those things, that you stay, or you come back to me, because this relationship holds the promise of that.  But, now you say, ‘no’.  You say you are here, you choose to stay because of me—just me.  What does that even mean, John?  That is what is difficult.  

So if I sounded dismissive, or frustratingly clueless yesterday, that is why.  I didn’t mean to dismiss your love for me.  I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for it, I barely know how to name, or what to do with all this feeling.  But I can make no sense of it.  I feel that this will all make no sense to you.  I hope we aren’t at an impasse.  I am trying.  Please know that.  I am trying so hard to understand, and I will never stop trying.

Perhaps I should stop thinking on it so much.  But how?  How, John?!  How do you just feel things, dismissing all logic and analysis?  How do you quiet your mind?  The only time my mind is quiet is when you touch me.  Then I forget to think.  Then there is only you, and my mind is busy cataloging every scent, taste, touch, sound, sight.  

Yesterday you said you get concerned when I ‘zone out’ when we make love.  Please don’t.  It’s fine.  And besides, it’s entirely your fault.  You have seen yourself, yes?  What else is my poor brain to do, but collapse in on itself in an attempt to process all you have on offer.  Lips, eyelashes, jaw, neck, nape, hands, thighs, arse, cock…  So much perfection.  So much to catalogue and save.  So many things to relish in…

Oh, I have missed your body, John.  I realised that the moment you touched me, peeled off my clothes, and lay naked beside me again the other night.  I’d forgotten.  I’d forgotten the way the mere warmth of you, the sensation of your skin against mine, your breath on my neck, and the look in your eyes, as you kiss me, I had forgotten how hot and hard it makes me, all in an instant.  I’m sorry I panicked at that.  You were prepared, and I thank-you for your foresight (just when did you pick up those condoms, John?).  I thank-you for respecting my wishes about deep kissing.  Thank-you, for finding other places to kiss.   And I still worry, and I do hope that my test results will come back negative, and we won’t have to be so careful.  

I do adore you, you know.  I suppose it is rather unfair of me to say these things and hope beyond hope that you will take them, absorb them, own them as the gift they are meant to be, while I do not return the favour.  Yes, I see that now.  It would break my heart if you thought I didn’t love you, John.  If you thought that I only stayed with you because of your perfect body, or your ability to cook, or the fact that I so need you in every respect.  I stay with you because I cannot be anywhere else.  You are John—my John—and I cease to shine without you.

Ahh…  I see now.  

It is still difficult for me to understand how I can be that to anyone, but if that is what I am to you: Just Sherlock—your Sherlock, then I will endeavour to accept it.

 

Yours will all my love,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

17/10/15

 

Sherlock,

 

Good-morning.  Busy day, today!  Off to London—so many errands for the wedding.  But, I wanted to leave this for you before I go.  I hope you aren’t too disappointed about not being able to come.  I do think all day running around the shops would be too much for you just yet.  

Don’t worry, I’ve got all your measurements and your notes for Nick on your wedding suit, and I’ll pick up mine from Mark, close out things with my estate agent, pick up the invitations, and then I’ll be home again before you know it.  We really do need to buy a car, you know, especially once winter comes.

I wanted to tell you just how pleased I am that you are starting to feel more yourself.  Yesterday’s little escapade in the rain, notwithstanding, you seem to have more energy, more clarity, and your colour is coming back.  I bet your hair will even start to thicken up again after the next cut.  You see, I was right.  You aren’t going to be sick forever.

I know you’re still feeling that joint and muscle pain.  We’ll work on that.  We’ll find things that help.  You’ve got to tell me if it gets to be too much, okay.  I can sort of tell when you’re really feeling it.  You tend to get quiet, but still…  Let me know.  There are things we can do to alleviate some of that for you.  

Those drops seem to be helping your eyes.  Don’t forget to put them in when I’m gone.  Set an alarm on your phone, or something.

Some rules while I’m gone:

  1. Bundle up when you take Gladstone for his afternoon walk (it’s supposed to be cold again today).
  2. Eat!  Toast and tea for breakfast, and I left your lunch on a plate in the refrigerator.
  3. Eye drops - put them in at noon, please.
  4. No bees!  Seriously.  It’s supposed to rain again anyway.
  5. Answer your phone if I text, or I’ll worry.

That’s it.  I’ll miss you.  I really do wish you could have come with me, but I think this is for the best.  I’ll think of you the entire time!

Can we talk about us, for a minute?  I am really glad that you’ve felt a little less anxious about sex the last few days.  I know we’re being careful.  That’s good.  Until we get your test results back, we need to be.  But, I did miss it.  I missed you.   

I sort of feel like we got off to so many false starts in a way.  Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything we’ve shared, but—well, we sort of jumped in, and then circumstances arose that kept us apart, and then that just repeated over, and over.  

I’m looking forward to actually having some extended time together, you know.  Just getting to really take the time and have fun, and explore, and really find out what we like.  No desperation because we know we have to part again, no high emotion, where we’re just fucking to relieve the hurt.  I just want—I want what’s starting to happen between the last few days…  

I feel like we’re going backwards somehow, but in a good way.  Maybe we started off too quickly?  We’d waited so long, and then suddenly I was here, that big surprise, and we just sort of crashed together those first couple of days, and fumbled our way through, which was messy, and fun, and lets be honest, a little ridiculous on both our parts, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

And then there was London, and the fucking there.  Don’t get me wrong, despite the fact that you seem to think it was an abject failure, it really was great!  But it was intense, and heated, and—well it almost felt borderline angry in the beginning.  I think that was the headspace I was in at the time, and it seemed to get some of that out of my system, but if you were to ask me how I’d like things to be between us, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want it like that all the time, or even the majority of the time.  It was hot, but it didn’t feel like…  Well, I don’t really know, but it didn’t feel like ‘us’ somehow.  

After those few days I spent at the inn down the road here, I came back, and we seemed to slip into something warmer, more familiar.  Maybe I’d let some things go.  Maybe I was more open with you.  Maybe I appreciated you more, because those few days away taught me how much I ached without you.  But then you went missing, and everything went to hell again…

And now, here we are.  When you were in the hospital, I had to face what it was like to be loved by you—fully loved by you—and then to lose you again.  I knew I wouldn’t survive it, Sherlock.  I knew.  And now you’re here, you’re here with me—still—another miracle.  And we’ve had to be so careful, and you know what, that’s okay.  It’s been really nice, what we’ve shared the last few weeks.  I know it’s nothing like what we were doing, but there’s a—I don’t know—a quietness, a really deep comfort to it.  Do you like it?  

I sometimes felt that at the beginning you thought that you had to give me certain things because you thought that I wanted them, needed them even.  For awhile I think you gave me space, let me lead, because you were afraid that I wouldn’t want sex at all.  I got the impression that you felt like every encounter was sort of a one-off, and I’d change my mind about it all at some point.  I haven’t, but you may not have been all wrong.  After that night in London you seemed to think that that was what I wanted, and it wasn’t.  That was—that was what I thought you wanted me to want.  Does that make sense?  It’s okay if it doesn’t.  It doesn’t really even make sense to me.

But, you kept saying that you felt that I wasn’t ‘open’ to you when we were together, that I was holding a part of myself back all the time, and I felt sort of desperate.  It felt like I wasn’t enough, that I was losing you somehow.  I felt like you had this view of me, and I wasn’t living up to that, so I tried to that night, at the flat in Acton, and you know what?  I’m glad that what happened that night transpired the way it did—I mean, everything not working out really as we both probably hoped it would…  

You didn’t fail in bed that night.  I couldn’t relax, and it was because it wasn’t me, okay.  I don’t think that was either of us, really.  And in the end we just sort of gave up on all the stuff we felt we had to do, and finished up in a sweaty heap where we got each other off however best we could, and I liked that better.  That felt like us.  Always trying to keep up appearances, but failing, and in the end the only thing left, the only thing that mattered was one another.  

We’ve never done things the way other people do it, have we?  This relationship has been so amazing, and yet so outside the ordinary from the start.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I really wouldn’t.

The last few weeks since you’ve been out of the hospital have meant so much to me.  Those couple of nights at the hotel for Greg and Molly’s wedding felt almost like a honeymoon.  You’d nearly died, and I’d got you back against all odds, and there you were, all curled up in that huge bed beside, me, and I couldn’t even kiss you.  But you know what, those two days meant more to me, and laying there evenings, with your head in my lap, watching telly together in our pyjamas was more intimate than anything that happened on any of the vacations I ever took with girlfriends, or even on my honeymoon last year.  I’ve never been happier, or felt closer to anyone than I did then.

And now, now we seem to be learning one another, bit by bit, in little ways.  It feels like early days of a relationship, the way you learn the language of someone’s body, only—this is different, because there’s another layer to it, something I’ve never had with anyone else before.  I’m learning your body, sure.  But, I feel like I’m learning where your body and your heart meet.  It feels like I’m learning how to love you—physically.  Does that makes sense?

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I know that there are a lot of things we can’t do, or are hesitant to do right now, because we have to be careful.  But, I’m glad, Sherlock.  Because I’m learning to speak a new language with you.  And it feels so right.  It feels comfortable, and safe.  And I don’t mean safe as in ‘boring’, I mean safe as in warm, and full, and just—really, really nice.

I’m so happy to be marrying you.  You have no idea.  I want this wedding because I do want to do a little something to commemorate how much you mean to me, and I want our family and close friends to share that, but I’m glad we’re not doing anything too grand.  Honestly, I just want to be married to you.  I feel married to you already.  We’re wearing the rings, we’re sharing a home.  We belong to each other.  I already have more than I ever dreamed I would.

When it all comes down to it, I’m just so happy to have you, and to know that I always will, and that we will have a whole lifetime left to learn one another.  I guess this is that feeling people always say you’re supposed to get when you’re married, that sort of comfortableness and familiarity.  I know you’ll probably scoff at that as being the very reason why marriage is such a bad idea in the first place.  But I don’t mean the kind of comfortableness and familiarity that breeds contempt, that leads you to start to take your spouse for granted.  I mean that thing that makes you feel like no matter what happens in life, it will be okay, because you’ve got the one person who matters beside you, that you’re going to face it all together, holding tight to one another’s hands.

We’ve been to hell and back so many times.  But, you’re here, and I’m here, and we’re here together.  And now we’re going to make vows to each other confirming the same, and there is something special in that.  I don’t think I really understood that before, but now I do.  I want you to know that, okay.  I understand now, and when I share my vows with you, they really will mean something.  They’ll mean everything, and they’ll be forever.

Well, I really do need to run, or I’ll miss the bus to Eastbourne.  I’ve given Gladstone his breakfast and his morning walk.  I love you!

 

Yours always,

 

John

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  9:52 AM

to: John

 

  John,

The house feels lonely without you in it, this morning.  Gladstone was sitting by the front door staring at it again, when I got up.  He always seems to do that when you’re gone.  I can hardly blame him.  I feel the impulse to do the same, and would do, if not for the fact that I recognise it to be utterly ridiculous.

I’d not realised quite how thoroughly I’d come to rely on you, just the energy and warmth of your presence in the house, until I opened my eyes this morning and felt it’s absence.  

I’ve always fought so hard to not care, to quash down any hint of sentimental weakness, but I find I’ve no inclination to do so anymore.  Perhaps it is my general lack of energy, perhaps it is age, or perhaps it is just the full acceptance and knowledge of what you are to me, the knowing that comes from truly and wholly belonging to another—I don’t know—but, I didn’t fight it this morning.  I just let it sink in.  

It’s a lonely, cold feeling, akin to what I felt right after your wedding.  And even though this time I know you are simply gone for the day, a quick little outing to London, every moment with you at any great distance from me is pain.

Thank-you for your note, and your little instructions.  I will follow them to the letter, John, you’ll see.  I’m determined to look after myself—for your sake, if not for mine.  You must know that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you, and that includes taking more of a care for myself.  

It is difficult, that.  It is difficult to counter habits built on decades of deeply internalised disinterest, and dare I even say, self-loathing, with selfless giving…  Oh dear, that does sound unforgivably melodramatic, doesn’t it?  Maudlin even…  My apologies.   As you have observed, I am rather a drama queen at times, I suppose—but, I don’t know quite how else to say it.

I would give you anything, but you are asking, I think, for the one thing that is most difficult.  You are asking me to give you the gift of myself—whole, and healthy, and happy.  

Oh, I know that you would love me no matter what.  I have adequate evidence of that, of late, and you have said it so many times now, and with such conviction, that I have no choice but to take you at your word.  You love me, want me (need me?).  You wither without me in similar fashion to the way I cease to shine without you.  And so, if I love you, truly love you, it is my duty (as well as my privilege), to ensure that you never again need know the pain of being without.

That being said, you must know that it does not come naturally to me. My brain has always been the only thing of real value to me, or to others, you see.  I need a relatively fit body to carry around my brain, to keep it functioning at peak levels, I know that.  But, in one’s youth one isn’t accustomed to having to give the body much thought.  It takes care of itself.  With the exception of some digestive issues as a child (hence the picky eating you’ve observed even now), I’ve never had to give my energy or health much thought.  I’ve had it all in spades.  It’s good genes, I suppose.  You’ve met my father—tall, lean and relatively strong even now, well into his seventies.  My mother—bright, alert, full of energy even though she is eighty.

Perhaps due to that, I’ve been rather neglectful, and at times even abusive to my body.  When my distaste for my heart overrides my appreciation of my intellect, I let things slide, I stop eating, sleeping, and in the past there were the drugs.  You know that.

I am not an easy person to love, and not only does that apply to others loving me, it applies to me loving myself, as well.  I find it horribly challenging.  With the exception of this remarkable brain, I can find little else of value.  

Oh, I am aware that I am considered attractive by some sort of ridiculous socially constructed standard.  I’m not above using that to my advantage on cases, or to get something I need or desire.  I’m rather ashamed to admit that I’ve even used it on you in those early days when I had observed your attraction, and not yet fully owned my own.  I would toy with it, gauge your reaction when I would style my hair a certain way, wear a particular shirt or pair of trousers…  But, to me, beyond the usefulness of it, I didn’t see any value in it.  My appearance was a tool, nothing more.  It was certainly not something I would use to assign value by my own measure.  I am proud of nothing but my mind (and lately, even that fails me).

So, you see, though I want to take care of myself for your sake, though I am determined to, the neglect and disregard is a horribly difficult habit to break.  Know that I am trying, and if I fail now-and-again, then I am sorry, deeply sorry.  I don’t want to worry or hurt you, John, you must know that.  I would do anything to keep you from that.  

I know that must seem a bit disingenuous, given my actions over the last several weeks.  But, I am in earnest.  I’m just not accustomed to having to think of another when it comes to my health and body, and I’ve so little regard for it (all confidence and arrogance notwithstanding), that I don’t think.  But, I’m thinking now.  For you I will endeavour to do better.  That is a promise and a vow.

And now we come to that topic in your letter, which I find most difficult to address.  I’ve been stalling, could you tell?  I know that it’s important to talk about sex.  It’s just—I feel so wrong-footed, I have almost from the start.  It seems I am constantly doing and saying the wrong things…  

And I’d had such high hopes, John!  I may have lacked practical experience, but I was well-read, and I’d researched quite in-depth, I adore you, and want you with an intensity that quite surprises me.  I felt sure that expressing that would come quite easily and naturally to me.  Instead, I feel that I fail you again, and again in this area, and I hate it!  

I’m more than aware of how sexual a being you are.  Sometimes you seem to walk about in a constant state of arousal.  Really, John, sometimes I wonder how you function!  Is it not constantly distracting?!  But, at any rate, I very much want to be what you need.

But, there’s me getting quite off track, because if I understand you correctly, what you are saying in this morning’s letter, is that you have loved these last few days, the careful kisses, the caresses, the warmth, and weight, and comfort of our bodies held close in the mornings…   

I love that, too.  I do!  I just find it hard to understand how that is adequate to you.  I only know what I have observed, and what I have observed, John, in the way you have coupled with people other than me, is that you find sex a release, a necessary release—a means to alleviate stress, even.  You are always in a brighter mood when you’ve had a vigorous bout of it.  

I used to hate it when you would come home the morning after a date, and be in a irritatingly cheery mood.  I always knew that some woman had spent the night pleasing you, and it made me tight and hot with jealousy.

But when it comes to us, we just seem to fumble through, and I hate that.  I want to please you.  I want to tease you the point of trembling and begging for release, and then I want to give it to you, I want to give you everything you want, everything you need, things beyond what you have ever dreamed.  What good is all this deductive skill, if I can’t use it to intuit what will bring you pleasure?!

I will be honest, John.  Sex has been the one thing that has surprised me between us.  I just assumed it would be easy, natural.  We seem so perfectly matched in all other respects (even if we are quite different in many ways), I just assumed that sex would follow suit, that it would be perfect and easy from the start.  I suppose that was horribly naive of me…

You are happy, you are pleased, you’ve said as much, and so I will take your word for it.  And yes, I am so very pleased, myself.  Please don’t take my words above as indication that I have felt the pleasure I receive from you to be lacking.  Nothing could be further from the truth, John.  You are perfect.  Everything about you, from the way you look, taste, smell, feel, to the way you touch me, and the things you whisper, murmur, and moan when we are together.  All of it, all of you—perfect.

I suppose this is a topic better discussed face-to-face, or at least in a form of communication more immediate than letter or email.  I just wanted to let you know that I read it, appreciated your honesty, and am thinking about it.  If you aren’t too tired when you get back from London tonight, perhaps we can discuss it more?

Well, I should go, and eat a little breakfast.  I’ll text you when I’m finished.

 

Yours with much love,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   1:31 PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

I’ve had some time to reread your email while I’m sitting here eating my sandwich, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to respond in kind.  I guess I got a little distracted about the sex thing when I read it on the train this morning, worrying that you’d somehow thought that I wasn’t pleased when we were together.  I just sort of forgot about the rest of your email.  And I don’t want that.  You said so much.  You said so many things I don’t want to ignore.

I’m really pleased that you have been, and are going to continue to take better care of yourself (remember: eye drops, eat lunch, bundle for your walk, no bees!!).  Part of that is selfishness on my part, I admit.  You’re right, I don’t want to lose you again, I can’t!  But, I’m also pleased because I love you, and I want you to enjoy life, and you can’t, you can’t enjoy it to it’s fullest when you are feeling tired, or run down, or sick all the time.  And you and I both know that no matter how much you balk at the thought of eating, and of sleep, some food and rest is necessary for both your body and your brain.  Especially, when you are healing.  So thank-you for your effort.  I’m grateful.

Can I ask you something?  Well, it’s an email, so I’m just going to go ahead and ask it anyway.  You always say that you aren’t easy to love.  You are constantly saying it.  Why?!

You know what?  It’s just blatantly untrue.  

I guess if you find it hard to love yourself, I can’t argue with that.  I can’t make you feel something you don’t (though I very much wish you would reconsider).  But, I can speak for myself, and to my own observations.  You are ridiculously easy to love!  I love you, Greg and Molly love you, Mrs. Hudson loved you like you were her own son!  Your parents love you.  Your brother loved you.  So many of the people you have helped down through the years love you, and are so very grateful to you!

I wish I knew who it was who first told you that you were difficult to love, because I’d love to punch them in the face.  I mean it Sherlock!

Maybe it would help if you told me all the reasons you don’t love yourself.  Maybe that would make it clearer to me.  Would you do that?  I know it would probably be difficult, and personal.  You don’t have to if you don’t want to.  I just don’t understand.  I mean you do things, and have little habits that drive me round the twist, sure…  But everyone does.  All relationships are like that.  And I’m so much happier with you than I’ve ever been with anyone else…

Well, I should go.  I know this is very short, but I’m typing it on my phone, and it’s already taken me forever.  I’m off to the stationers for the invitations, now.  I’ll text you once I’m on my way back to the train station, okay.  

 

Love you,

 

John

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  1:59 PM

to: John

 

John,

I’m not sure how my making a list of my failings will help you, but if you feel that it will, then I am more than willing to outline them for you:

  1. I am selfish.
  2. I am arrogant.
  3. I am rude.
  4. I fail to understand even the most basic of social interactions most times.
  5. I’m messy.
  6. I’m moody.
  7. I’m an unnecessary burden on those who care about me, no matter how hard I work to make it not so.
  8. I’m overly dependant.
  9. cowardly.
  10. too sensitive.
  11. unforgivably stupid sometimes.
  12. hurtful
  13. broken
  14. addict
  15. disappointing
  16. limited utility
  17. more work than i’m worth

I could go on and on.  Is this really helpful?

 

Yours,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left at Sherlock’s spot at the kitchen table)

18/10/15

 

Sherlock,

Good-morning.  You are sleeping so soundly, I decided to come out here to the garden to write.  I think we are going to have a lovely day.  It will be nice to have a little warm weather before winter starts setting in for certain.  The hives are surprisingly quiet.  Maybe they are already starting to cluster, like you mentioned they would.  I won’t lie, I’m rather looking forward to a few months without them constantly drawing your attention.  Sometimes I think you love those damn bees more than you do me!  (<— That’s sarcasm.  Please don’t take it fully in earnest, okay).

I think I wore you out yesterday.  We stayed up too late, didn’t we...  But, I don’t think you are really complaining.  God knows, I’m not.  I love seeing you come undone like that.  I love the sounds you make, and the way your chest, and neck, and cheeks go all pink.  

You’re gorgeous, you know that.  I know you don’t put much stock in those things, but I’m going to tell you anyway, because I want you to know all the ways that you please me.  And seeing you like that, hair mussed, skin flushed and dotted with love marks…  Well, I’m getting myself all worked up just thinking about it, so I’d best stop.

What I really want to talk about this morning, is your email yesterday, and that damn list.  I’m still reeling over that list, you know.  I get what you mean when you say that some of those items are true of you.  They are.  But, they don’t make you unloveable, okay.  I know I said that yesterday, but I’m going to say it again, and again until you really get it written on your heart.

So let’s look at it, shall we…  Let me address the things that are true, but not in the way you think they are:

  • Selfish
  • Arrogant
  • Rude
  • Failure to understand social cues.
  • Messy
  • Moody
  • Sensitive
  • Hurtful
  • Addict

Yeah, sometimes you are selfish, arrogant, rude, moody.  It’s just a part of who you are.  And you know what?  Everyone is that way sometimes.  I’m all of those things too.  That’s just a part of being human.  I know you like to think that you are set apart, something above human (or maybe it’s just me who thinks you think that—I’m honestly not quite sure anymore), but you are human Sherlock, you are gloriously, beautifully human.  And being human isn’t just about being kind, or thoughtful, or good.  It’s also about sometimes being selfish, rude, scared, and yeah, even broken, which you mentioned later on in your list.

Are some of these traits of yours a little trying?  Sure.  I’ve got traits that are trying, too.  I get angry at the drop of a hat.  I’m selfish, and rude, and messy and moody, and hurtful.  

You know what, I’m even prone to addiction.  Yeah, I can admit that.  I think you’re the first person I’ve ever admitted that to, to be honest, but you probably already deduced it years ago anyway, and I’m not blind or stupid.  I notice how you hide alcohol when I’m going through rough patches.  I notice how angry I get when you do, even though I never say anything.  

Thanks for that, by the way.  Angry as I get, I know it’s only because you care, and god knows I’ve rifled through your things searching for drugs more times than I care to remember.

The point is, we all have failings, and weaknesses, but they don’t make us ‘bad’ or unloveable in and of themselves.  We get to choose what we do with them, and that is what defines us.  And you know what I see in you?  I see something really remarkable.  I see someone who, when they notice that those traits hurt or harm those around them, they fight hard to correct them.  No matter how innate, no matter how entrenched those traits and habits are, you try, and try, and try to be a better person.  You learn and grow.  And if that doesn’t make you remarkable, extraordinary, and fully, and beautifully human, then I don’t know what does.  

You are SO loving.  I know you don’t see that.  I think that you assume that because you don’t interact with people in the ordinary ways, because you don’t really understand the logic of human interactions, or naturally intuit why the hell people choose to say and do the weird things they do when it comes to their hearts, that you are somehow flawed.  That’s not right, though.  You’re not.  Maybe they’re the ones who are flawed and broken, did you ever think of that?  Maybe you just want the truth.  Maybe you just want honesty in your communications and relationships.  

I’ll be honest, Sherlock, for the majority of the human race, relationships are nothing more than a strange, complicated game.  It’s all manipulations, and power plays, flirtation, and miscommunication.  It’s fucking hollow!  I don’t blame you for the low estimation you have of relationships, romance, marriage.  Maybe you’re right.  I think that nine times out of ten people are in them for all the wrong reasons.  It’s not real.  It’s not honest.

I see you work so hard, to learn to mirror the way way other people communicate.  Sometimes that’s good.  I guess it helps you avoid deeply offending someone (or getting a fist to the face), but sometimes I think that somewhere deep down you feel that you have to learn and adapt because there’s something wrong with you.  Like we’re all right, somehow, and you are essentially wrong and broken.  If that is what you think, then you’re wrong.

And yeah, I realise that I’ve probably even contributed to that.  I’ve lashed out when you’ve said or done things that forced me to have to look at myself, really look.  No one likes to be forced to see the truth about themselves, Sherlock.  Almost everyone balks at that.  That’s why people react so poorly to your deductions, you know.  You’re forcing them to look at themselves.

I know I’ve talked about this before in relation to myself.  Your ability to ‘see’ me, and the way that forced me to have to really, truly see myself—well, that made me both love and hate you.  But, I want to point out something REALLY important here, okay.  When I say that it made me hate you, that isn’t quite accurate.  I felt like I hated you, but if I sit with that, if I really look at it, what I really hated in that moment was myself.  You made me look at the things I didn’t want to look at, and that was hard, and painful, and I reacted badly.  But deep down, really deep down, I know I need to change, I want to be better, for myself and for you, and that is why I love you.  Because I think that if I had never met you I might have been able to go my whole life hiding, never having to acknowledge the truth about myself, and I would have missed out on so much.  You showed me to myself, and you’ve made me a better person in the process.  And no one else could have done that but you.

Can we talk about ‘sensitive’.  Your list said ‘too sensitive’.  I assume you work hard to hide this.  I see little hints of it now and again.  Hints of sensitivity, I mean.  I in no way feel that you are ‘too sensitive’.  

Stop trying to hide it, okay.  I love that part of you, and it must be kind of exhausting to try and keep battened down all the time.  Is it?  Better to be honest, and then deal with whatever arises (if anything) don’t you think?

I’ve loved seeing this softer side of you.  I don’t mind if you’re sensitive, and by that I mean emotionally, mentally, or even on a physical, sensory level.  Not sure which you meant here.  Maybe you meant a bit of it all.  But, I don’t see that as a weakness or a failing (a challenge maybe?).  It’s certainly not something that renders you unloveable, for heaven’s sake!  So, you can just stop thinking that, right now.

‘Cowardly’?  Where do you even get off with ‘cowardly’?!  This one is just pure nonsense.  You’ve died to save those you love, you’ve faced down killers, blackmailers, assassins.  You’ve looked them straight in the eye without flinching when it really mattered.  You’ve stood up to your brother, and made a life for yourself when he was constantly telling you that you couldn’t.  You’ve saved this country, and so many lives just by being you!  Cowardly?!!!  Pfft…  Nonsense.

Oh, and ‘unnecessary burden on those who care about me, no matter how hard I work to make it not so’?  No.  Just no, Sherlock.  You have never felt like a burden to me.  A huge pain in the arse sometimes (<— sarcasm again), but never, ever a burden!  Why would you think that?  Because you have needs and wants?  You’re allowed to have needs and wants.  Everyone does.

Listen, I’m not your parents with high hopes for your independence.  I’m not your brother constantly reminding you of how much you fail at adulthood, because he wants to keep you tied to his apron strings with as much passion as he wants you to become self-sufficient, and all for weird reasons of his own.  I’m me, and I love you, and you’re not now, nor have you ever been a burden to me.

Sometimes I think that I was more of a burden to you.  Little to no money to contribute to the household, constantly descending into rage or depression, going off in a sulk for days (enjoy this honestly, it’s not easy for me, and you’re not likely to get it again for awhile).  But all this to say, stop it, Sherlock.  Just wipe that whole idea of being a burden from that great brain of yours.  Erase it.  Delete it.  And then cauterise it from your heart too.  It’s just not true.  

Same goes of ‘overly dependent’.  Are you kidding me?  You are constantly fighting for your independence, doing everything within your power to appear an island apart.  Is this why?  Deep down you feel that you are too dependent on the people you love, so you are trying to be the exact opposite?  

Stop okay.  I know you need me.  That’s okay.  I like that you need me, and I need you too, so we can just be dependent on one another.  I guess some people might say that we run the risk of becoming enmeshed, but fuck them.  I don’t care.  It works for us, so let’s just let it be what it is.  If we’re both happy then why does it matter, eh?

Unforgivably stupid…  Right.  So, ‘occasionally makes mistakes’, is what you really mean…  Because the great Sherlock Holmes is not allowed to make mistakes?!  Bollocks!  Absolute bollocks, and you know it.  

Maybe you feel this way because there have been some pretty huge mistakes, with some pretty dire outcomes.  Okay.  I can’t argue you there.  But that’s still not unforgivable.  I think this ties into your idea of utility, like somehow you have to earn your right to exist, or something.  If you’re not clever enough, if you’re not flawless enough, if you don’t have enough ‘purpose’, then you don’t deserve to draw breath?  

I get that.  I’ve been there.  But, I’ve learned something important, Sherlock.  No one is perfect.  You don’t have to earn your right to be loved, and your ‘purpose’ doesn’t have to be some grand thing.  Your purpose can be something as small as making one person’s life better and brighter.  And you have done that for me.  Like I said, you’ve saved me and given me a reason for living, you’ve brought excitement, and joy, and love to my life.  You made my life worth living!

And so yeah, you’re work, but you’re certainly not ‘more work that you’re worth’.  You're worth the world to me, Sherlock.  You might think you’re broken or disappointing, but I think that you’re human and astounding!  And I love you, so mine’s the only opinion that’s accurate, and that matters, okay.  

I know you think that love blinds, and it can, but there’s a different kind of love that reveals the truth (you taught me that), and that is the kind of love we have.  I’m not blind.  I’m awake.  I’m aware.  I see you for who you really are, and who you are is perfect.  Perfect in the way you mean I’m perfect when you say it.  There are faults and flaws, but they are you, and you are wholly loveable, so altogether, that whole package that makes up Sherlock Holmes is perfect.

I hope this helps.  I just hate that you feel unloveable.  I ache to think that.  You are infinitely loveable, Sherlock, and I bet if I asked almost anyone we know they would be able to outline dozens of reasons why, just like I did here!

Well, anyway, it’s getting late, and I should make your breakfast, and then I think maybe we should work on the invitations today, yes?  I’d like to get them out soon if we really are going to get married on Christmas Eve.  People book these holiday things in advance, and we are inviting so few people, I’d really hate it if there were any of them who couldn’t make it.

I love you, you know.  I love you so much, and I’m so pleased to be marrying you.  Just a few more weeks now, and then you can see me in that suit!  And no, I’m not letting you see me in it until the day.  Sorry.  It looks good though.  It’s kind of remarkable the miracles a well-cut suit can do.  My arse hasn’t looked that good since uni.

And with that lovely thought, I’ll leave you to eat your breakfast…

Yours,

John

Chapter Text

(left on the tea table beside John’s chair)

18/10/15

 

John,

You’ve gone to the shops, so I thought I would take the opportunity to respond to your email from this morning.

John, I don’t know what to say to it.  Your sentiment is overwhelming.  And I don’t say that as a negative.  It is simply a fact.  I am overwhelmed by the way you see me.  You must know that I want to believe you.  I know you are quite in earnest.  I know that you believe every word that you say.  I also know that you are in love with me, and that you are blinded to a certain extent by that.  But, I am willing to sit with your theory that love doesn’t blind, but rather clarifies.  I’m willing to consider it, at least.

I know that you are remarkable.  It’s not that I’m blinded by my love.  I do realise you have faults.  It’s just that they are inconsequential in the face of the beauty of who you are.  Together they make you, and you are extraordinary.  I don’t think this, I know it.  

Is that how it is with you, then?  You know that I am as you’ve described me?  I will be perfectly honest with you, John.  That is difficult for me to accept.  I’ve spent my whole life working very hard to ‘become’.  Nothing but the deduction comes naturally to me.  Every moment, of every day, since the moment I was born, has been spent adapting, learning, striving to find a way to fit.

Oh, I’ve no desire to conform to the mediocre, and mundane ways of the masses, but one does have to ‘fit’ to a certain extent, or living a full and satisfying life becomes an impossibility.  So I strive, and strive to be what I need to be in order to function, in order to earn the right to contribute and connect.  So, to find you here, saying that all the changes I have striven to introduce, are not necessary to win your affection, and good opinion…  Well, that seems a gift that’s almost too good to be true!  And yet, as I’ve said, I know you to be in earnest.

I have become quite a pest, I fear.  Constantly asking ‘why do you love me?!’.  But, it’s just that I do not understand it, John.  I see it.  I know it to be true on a logical level.  But I cannot understand the why of it.  And I need to understand!  

It’s difficult for me to explain, but in order to relax into your love, I need to understand it.  There is a kind of cognitive dissonance that occurs otherwise.  I’m constantly unsettled.  So, I’m trying to understand.  But please know, that I do realise you are in earnest, and I accept the gift of it.  But, if I keep asking ‘why’, it is because I am desperately trying to grasp the whole of it.

I feel this might not make complete sense to you.  If not, I’m sorry.  But, if you can just be patient with me, I will be so grateful.  I do know you love me, John.  I’m just still trying to absorb and a assimilate all the ways how, and why.

I am so pleased to be marrying you, too.  Beyond pleased.  I’m honoured, awed, achingly grateful.  That you agreed to it, when it was something you weren’t keen on at first, that you truly want to spend the rest of your life with me, that I can relax into the comfort of knowing I will never again have to know what it is to have to do without you—all those things are such a boon and blessing.

Some time ago, in one of these many pieces of correspondence we’ve exchanged, you mentioned, in passing, that you thought I was scared a lot of the time.  As reluctant as I am to admit it, you were right.  Aloneness, total aloneness, is a little terrifying.  To know that you have absolutely no one and nothing…  

And I know that there are those who care and have cared about me, ones other than you.  I know that I have never been truly alone.  But there is a kind of aloneness that comes from never really feeling ‘known’, and that is the aloneness that you came in and eradicated—from the start, in small ways—but in the last few months, in leaps and bounds.  I will never have words to adequately thank-you for that, John.  It is one more way in which you have saved me.  Perhaps the most important way.  I hope I can give you even half so much in return…

Well, you’ll be returning shortly, so I should wrap this up.  I am so pleased to be solidifying all these little plans for the wedding.  I wish it was Christmas Eve already!

 

Yours with all my love,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

  

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter Text

(left on John’s bedside table)

21/10/15

 

John,

 

Forgive me, I am very addled this morning, but there is so much I need to say.  Yes need!  This is not simply a desire.  I feel almost frantic with the need to say it, so I will try, and you will, I hope, be patient with my failings, with my seeming inability to make sense of anything today.

My deepest apologies for last night.  It is my most profound wish, and resolve that you not see me in that sort of state.  I’ve tried, without success, to make you see that I don’t want you there when I’m like that, that it only makes it worse.  I know you want to help.  I love you for that.  But, I’m no good to you like that, and I lash out, and say and do hurtful things, which is so far beyond anything that I could ever wish for.  I hurt you, John, when I am hurting.  And that feels like such an unforgivable thing.

I know we’ve discussed how you might help.  And I know I desperately need the grounding you provide in those moments.  But, I am not willing to sacrifice your wellness for my comfort.  I have said some of the most horrible things to you in those moments, and I hate myself for it afterwards.  So please, just leave me Gladstone, and then leave me be.  He and I are company well-suited when I’ve degenerated to such a level.

It is difficult for me to admit, John, but I’m ashamed to have you see me that way.  I’ve always been so careful to circumvent it, prevent it, hide it from the world.  And I have achieved a modicum of success in that respect.  But this—well, all of this, lately, has been my undoing.  

I feared, of course, from the very beginning, that giving in to the feelings I have for you would have a sort of cascade effect.  That allowing myself (yes what you saw last night is a part of the real self, you always seem so eager for me to gift you) to give into those emotions that have always sought to own me would mean becoming slave to them again, as I was when a child.  It seems I wasn’t completely wrong in that assessment.  

I have found myself of late, wanting nothing more than to spend the day in bed, curled into you, face nuzzling your neck like some overly demanding cat (this is becoming an unforgivable indulgence, as you know. I’ve mentioned it before).  Some mornings I think I could live there, like that, for the rest of my life, and be perfectly content.  It is sometimes the only time in the day where I feel perfectly settled and safe.  And you shouldn’t have to bear the weight of such need, John.  You are worth more than that.  You are better than that.  

Here we’ve gone and posted all those wedding invitations two days ago, and I can think of nothing else.  It haunts me, this impending wedding.  I know it was never what you wanted to begin with, that you agreed to it only to make me happy.  And I was a different man then.  Now I’m broken, and small.  A mere shadow of what I once was, and that may never change.  I could never expect you to bind yourself to such a person.  

What if I can’t do it, John?  What if I can no longer moderate my behaviour—my erratic, anxious, troublesome tendencies?  What if you if marry me only to find that you have been saddled to a broken shell of a man, who needs you like he needs oxygen, and can’t bear to be out of your sight for even a moment for fear of drowning under a flood of anxiety and irrational fear?  I am so broken.  Why would you ever want to cage yourself with the burden of being bound to me?

You are free to go, John.  Perhaps I am better on my own.  I am used to it.  And it is better when there is no one here to see me in these weaker moments, to see me break.  As I child I learned to hide myself away—the small dark corner at the back of the pantry, under the bed, the lean, tight space between the wall and woodbox, at the back of the house.  I long to hide myself away again, to not have you see me this fragile, useless thing.

Please go.  For your sake, and by extension for mine.  You are the most precious part of my life, and I want only joy, and adventure, and the deepest of love for you.  You deserve everything the world has to offer, John.  You are lit with life!  

I told you once that you were not luminous in and of yourself, but that you were a phenomenal conductor of light.  What lies.  You are my sun.  You shine so brightly, and I wither without the light and warmth of you.  But I have lived in the dark before—most of my life, as you know.  I can survive it again.  And you deserve to shine, John.  You deserve to shine, and live, and thrive, without the constant threat of my desperate need snuffing you out.

 

Penitently yours,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on John’s bedside table)

22/10/15

 

 

John,

How is it that I have been fortunate enough to have you in my life?  How is it that you always know just what to do, just what is needed?  

Yesterday, all day, a fire in the hearth, the patter of rain against the windows, our limbs tangled beneath the sheets, your lips on mine, such sweet words murmured against my ear, your hands everywhere, and my body set alight, teased carefully, insistently toward release, only to be soothed, gentled back into the comfort and rest of your arms.  You always know.  Always.

You will be angry at me for saying this, but it must be said.  I hope that someday I am able to return even half of what you give to me, half of what you are to me.  I am lost without you.  You are my anchor, and my rock.  You are my light, and my life.  You always, somehow, know precisely when I need a swift kick, or a tender caress, a firm word, or an understanding whisper.  You tame and gentle me, while still allowing me my freedom. I am infinitely grateful to you.

You quiet my mind when your arms are around me, when your fingers ghost over my flesh, and your lips sing against mine.  I forget everything.  My mind whirs, and races with anticipation, and then suddenly, clicks, and falls into glorious, blissful stasis.  I can breath.  I can rest.  There is only you.  The scent of you, the warmth of you, the even thrum of your heartbeat against my ear.  

You are my home.  Whatever would I do without you?!

Oh, I am so helplessly and hopelessly selfish, John.  I know I should give you up.  Yes.  It’s true!  Be angry with me if you like.  But, I am not all that you deserve.  I know this, and yet…  I can’t, John.  I simply cannot bring myself to let you go.

I suspect you knew this.  Am I right?  You knew when you took me to bed yesterday, spent all day pleasuring and nurturing me, that I would be reminded of how essential you are to me.  That I would wake this morning, and find the task of packing my bags and leaving to be an impossible one.  You were wooing me.  And very successful you were, too.  I’m very angry at you—and I’m not.  I’m so grateful for your love, this great love and loyalty which I do not deserve, and can, in no way, ever adequately repay.

I am your slave, John Watson—body and soul.  I would do anything for you.  I would die for you.  I would kill for you.  I would give you anything you want.  It terrifies me, this love.  It terrifies me how much I need you!  I am fortunate.  You are wholly faithful, completely selfless where I am concerned.  I know you.  I know that you would never take advantage of my slavish devotion.  Thank-you, for that.

It is why I have guarded myself from love so assiduously.  It seems I can do nothing by halves, this included.  I am all in, or not at all.  That could have been my undoing, John.  Can you see how great a risk such a thing could be?!

I think my brother lived in constant fear of me falling.  He saw how it was when I became enamoured with chemistry, with the violin, with drugs.  Nothing by halves.  Nothing.  

He saw my first foray into infatuation as well.  

There was a boy, you see.  I’ve not mentioned it previously, because it has always been a deep source of shame for me.  When I was fifteen, there was a boy at school, all tanned skin and golden hair, and long lashes. He was two years older than me.  I worshipped him.  I followed him about, like a bashful pup, for months, and then one day, I took a chance, and I kissed him behind the gymnasium.  I earned a black eye and split lip for my daring, and foolishness.  I didn’t tell you that story, John.  I think I was afraid to. 

I didn’t tell you how I felt as though my heart might leave my body at the sight of him, merge with his.  I didn’t tell you how profoundly I longed to have him with me, day and night, just to hear his voice, just to be close enough to still in the scent of him, to breathe him in, and bask in his attentions.  He was like a drug.  I needed him.  To be without was physical pain.  

And when I finally found my courage, and rather foolishly attempted to kiss him, only to be so violently rebuffed, it threw me into the most profound spiral of self-loathing and grief.  I could not let him go.  For months I grieved.  And we were barely friends, you understand.  He was by no means as dear or familiar to me as you are.  

It was, I suppose, first love, or, at the very least, infatuation.  And yet I realise now, as an adult, that there was no ‘realtionship’ of any kind, that it was mostly some sort of parasocial nonsense on my part.  He knew of me, I followed him about at a distance, after all, but that was all.  We had spoken a few words a small handful of times.  I think I was completely beneath his notice, to be quite frank.  But to me, in my mind, he was everything.  And when I ‘lost’ him, it nearly killed me.  

That is when my brother really started to worry, I think.  Things had been bad enough when I’d lost my dog at age eight, but this was something entirely different.  He saw me drowning, and  that is when he began to teach me not to care, in earnest.  And it was a lesson I was desperate to learn at the time, John.  I so wanted not to feel the tight, hot agony of loss that gripped me constantly, that kept me from eating, or sleeping, and extinguished, even, all the delight of my usual passions.  I wanted to squash that part of myself wholly, and complete, once and for all, so I would never again feel such pain.

But then, almost two decades later, I met you.  I was lost from the start.  I knew it.  I knew it the moment you stepped foot in that lab.  And I fought so hard to keep you out of my heart.  But by the time we had finished that first case together, I think I knew that it would all be for nought.  

I’ve worshipped you from the start.  I’ve loved you, deeply, wholly, profoundly almost as long.  I think we’d only been living together a month when I realised I was in love with you.  I wouldn’t really admit it to myself, you realise.  I couldn’t.  I would never have survived.  But like you, somewhere deep down, I knew.

I’ve not told you these things before.  I’ve never told anyone.  Even my parents don’t know.  It was a secret that Mycroft could have taken to his grave if I had not chosen to tell you now.  

I don’t know why I am telling you.  Perhaps I hope that it will make you see, make you realise how pathetic I am.  Perhaps I hope you will find the motivation you need to leave.  There are no halves, John.  You are, quite literally, the air I breathe.  Now that I have stopped fighting, and let you fully in, I don’t know how to be without you, and I crave you constantly.  You have become my drug.  Whatever shall I do when you are gone…?

I am ashamed, John—deeply, profoundly ashamed of everything I have just told you.  But I have done so, so that you can see how it is I really am.  You are always saying that you want to see the real me, want to know every facet of my true self.  Oh John, it is a lovely sentiment, but I assure you—you don’t.  You think you do, but you don’t.  You see, this is me, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Nearly everything I’ve given you up to this point has been some shade of deceit, a construct, a beautiful deception.

You say you want to see the human side of me.  You don’t.  The human side of me is too human.  So horribly small, broken, flooded with sentiment.

Well, I’m only wallowing now, aren’t I.  I’ll stop.  This is contemptible.  

I am going to attempt to take Gladstone for his morning walk.  I’ll bundle up warmly.  It’s grown quite cool.

 

I love you, wholly, completely, in spite of myself,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on Sherlock’s bedside table)

23/10/15

 

Sherlock,

I’ve wanted to sit down and write this since yesterday morning, since the moment I finished reading the letter you left me.  I probably should have said all of what I’m about to write here, aloud, to your face.  I should have looked you in the eye, held your face in my hands, and whispered all of this against your lips.  But because these sorts of things are so difficult for me, because I am quite horrible at talking about the things that matter, and because this is SO very important to me, I’ll just have to do it like this.  I hope you’ll understand.  I hope this will be enough.

We’ve already discussed the ‘leaving’ bit, so I won’t go into that too deeply again here.  I think we both know that leaving now is not the solution.  That we would only be hurting ourselves.  I say this again, and again, and again, and I’m sure you are quite sick of it.  Too bad.  You’re going to have to hear it again!  

Together or not at all.

We can irreparably hurt one another by leaving, or we can stay, hurt one another, and still have the opportunity to heal.  I choose the latter.  I will always choose the latter.  

I’ve been without you.  I’ve been left, so many times.  And yes, I left you too all those months ago.  You know how it hurts.  You know it won’t do for us.  So there.  There it is.  No matter what conversations we have from here on out, no more talk of leaving.  

I may not know much about healthy relationships, Sherlock, but I at least know enough to see that that kind of talk just isn’t on.  It doesn’t accomplish anything, and sometimes it feels manipulative.  So let’s not.

But now onto what I really want to talk about, the real revelation of yesterday’s letter—this Victor bloke…

I am going to be straight honest with you, Sherlock.  That broke my heart.  There’s nothing worse than risking all, only to be so horribly hurt and disappointed.  And I know you.  I know your heart, and the fact that anyone could treat it so poorly…  Well, it makes me blind with rage.  I meant it, you know.  I’d better not see him walk into your life again—ever.  It wouldn’t end well for him.

I wish it might have been me.  Because you know what, if you had kissed me behind the gymnasium when we were boys, I would have been lost.  I would have been yours.  I would have been all in—despite all my fears, all my running.  

I’ve seen pictures of you then—all limbs, hair long around the ears and neck, eyes almost too big for your face.  You were lovely, and so open, so soft, so untouched by the world in so many ways.  I don’t say that to suggest I don’t love the you I have now.  But the you then—he hadn’t built so many walls yet, and he was a gift—a rare and beautiful gift.  And to think that this Victor could see you and think anything but, makes my blood boil.

Sometimes I wish I’d known you all my life.  Sometimes I wish I could protect you from every hurtful thing.  I’ve been given the opportunity now, and you’d better believe I take that seriously!

What I said yesterday still holds.  I am going to hurt you.  I know that.  To think otherwise would be naive, and stupid.  But, I’m always going to be sorry.  I’m always going to fight hard to be better for you, learn from my mistakes, not hurt you in the same way a second time.  I’m always going to seek to heal and soothe.  Nothing hurts me more than the thought of me hurting you.  I’ve done that enough.  I hurt you for years due to my own cowardice.  No more, okay.  

I’ve been brave for us once, and I want to keep on being brave.  I want to fight.  I want to make this, to make us, the very best that we can be.  You are everything to me.  You are a gift—body, mind, heart, soul, all of you.  Anyone who has ever told you differently was an idiot, and if they want to fight me on that they’re welcome.  They’ll lose.

You are extraordinary!  Extraordinary in your intelligence, extraordinary in your beauty, extraordinary in your heart, your humanity, your honesty, your inherent goodness and sensitivity.  You are perfect, Sherlock.  You are the most perfect human being I have ever known.  

Perhaps that’s why so many people have shunned you, stayed away.  I don’t think that most people are in a position to really see and appreciate that.  It terrifies them.  It makes them feel less than.  But those sorts of people aren’t the sort you need in your life, anyway.  You’re too good for them!  You remember that!  Never forget.  

You’re perfect, exactly as you are.  They’re a bunch of blind, ignorant arseholes!

Got it?  

Good. 

Now I’m going to go in and leave this by your bed, and then make you ham and chips for breakfast (which I really shouldn’t do, but I feel like spoiling you today), and then we can go into Eastbourne and buy that car, if you feel up to it.

I love you.

 

Your husband,

John

 

Chapter Text

(left at Sherlock’s place at the kitchen table)

 

24/10/15

 

Sherlock,

 

Good-morning!  God, I had fun with you yesterday.  I’ve never had so much fun buying a car in my life, and you got us a good price, too.  Bit not good that—deducing that the salesman was sleeping with the owner of the dealership, but I did so enjoy seeing you like that again, mind taking in all the detail, a million miles a minute, sizing that bloke up in a heartbeat and using it to your advantage.  Yes, I’m a bad man, I admit it.  That still turns me on, and there’s nothing for it.

And then lunch out, and a little stroll by the water.  Felt a bit like old times, only nicer, because this time I got to hold your hand, and tangle our feet under the table at lunch, and steal a little kiss now and again.  That surprised you a little, didn’t it.  Was it alright?  I supposed we’ve never really discussed public displays of affection.  I did try to keep it all very U-rated.  It’s just nice to know I have you now, that I always will.  And frankly, sometimes I just look over at you and can’t help myself.

I hope you didn’t get too worn out.  I’m letting you sleep this morning, because I figure you need it.  I could tell you were tired by the time we got home last night.  I hope all that walking doesn’t cause your pain to flare up again, too.  Let me know if it does.  I’ll run you a warm bath and give you a little rub down later.

Well, I suppose, I’ll just keep this short this morning.  Going to cook your breakfast.  The smell of it usually does manage to coax you out of bed.  Very glad to see your appetite returning.  You’re doing very well!

 

Love you!

 

John

Chapter Text

(left on John’s pillow)

24/10/15

 

John,

 

I do love you.  I love your loyalty, your courage, your innate goodness.  I love the way you giggle against my lips when we topple into bed together, giggle like every time is the first time, like you are still inexplicably enamoured.  I love how you care for me, feed me, bathe me, rub the ache from my muscles and bundle me up, pull me close, wrapping yourself around me until I fall asleep.

I love the way your eyes darken, and twinkle with something just a little wicked when I eviscerate people with my deductions (you are right, that isn’t the least bit good, but I can’t bear to disappoint you).  I love the way your jaw tenses, and jumps, and how you squeeze your hands into tight white knots at your side, sniffing out your anger when I do something that pushes your buttons.  

I love the way you sometimes growl into my neck, and nip a little at the flesh there as you rut against me, leaving little marks for me to admire in the morning.  I love the sounds you make as your pleasure builds, and the strangled cry (sometimes something almost akin to a sob) that you let out when you throw your head back, tense, and spill over my heated skin.  

I love how you try to keep things up around here, especially lately, even though I think you hate the washing up, and the hoovering, and all those ridiculous, little domestic necessities almost as much as I do (really we can hire the woman back I had before you came home, if you would prefer).

I love you, John.  You make my life a joy and pleasure, and of all the things I imagined my life could be, a joy and pleasure were not ever on the list.  You light a fire beneath my skin, one that burns bright and warms every interaction, every small detail.  

I so wish I was marrying you this instant.  I was so tempted to grab you by the hand this morning at breakfast, drag you down to the registry, and demand they marry us at once—to hell with the wedding!  Of course ridiculous laws make that impossible, and Mummy would be horribly cross if we did it all without her there.  And one doesn’t want to upset Mummy, you know that!

Still…  I do just wish to be done with it.  I want you mine.

Now put this letter down, and come over here, and kiss me.  You’ve been wearing those trousers today, the ones you know drive me mad, and I’m most put out with you!

 

Yours in great need,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(left on tea table beside John’s chair)

26/10/15

 

  John,

 

Yesterday…  Perfect.  

I will be so pleased when all limits are lifted.  At times it is unbearable.  But, in the mean time, I am more than grateful to enjoy what’s on offer.  Especially when what’s on offer is you, laid out on the bed, in our room, pleasuring yourself for my eyes only.  I can’t think of anyone alive who could object to such delights.

You are gorgeous, and I don’t think that I tell you that enough, and for that I’m sorry.  Seeing the way your chest flushes, and heaves with your exertions, the mouth-watering sight of your not inconsiderable cock gripped firmly in your small, capable hands, the way your thighs flex enticingly, and your tongue darts out to moisten your lips between pants and moans.  Following your orders of ‘no touching’ was most difficult indeed.  I did well though, did I not?  I assume so, since I was so pleasurably rewarded.

Thank-you too, for what we discussed afterward.  Of course we should wait, and that is fine.  Perhaps that is for the best, in fact.  Time to ease slowly toward it.  I think we proved, that night in Acton, all those weeks ago, that rushing into things is not for the best.  I was afraid, after that, that you might not want to try again, to see if we might fare better the other way ‘round.  And I will be honest, John, I was hoping that you would at least be open to try.  

I have thought of it, often, what it might be like to be so connected to you.  There have been times when we were together, when I have yearned to be closer, longed to crawl beneath your skin, and breathe your breath, share your pulse, feel all of you surrounding, sheltering, all of me.  You are always enough, but sometimes my body, and some part of me I find very difficult to define, long to be closer still.  Yes, I long to have you buried deep inside of me, to feel the stretch and heat, the weight and fullness of you there.

I think I surprised you a little, when I told you that you mustn’t worry, that I have had plenty of practice on myself.  But it is only fact, John.  I shouldn’t want you to worry.  I should be able to accommodate you, just fine, though…  Perhaps we may have to work up to that slowly at first.  Nature has blessed you considerably. ;-)

Ah well, we’ve plenty of time to discuss the particulars.  I’d meant this to be all sentiment and seduction, and instead I’ve wandered off into the realm of the clinical.  My apologies.

I only ask you not to worry.  Heaven’s sake, John, you’re a doctor after all.  I do hope you have at least a decent grasp of anatomy.  I imagine there is only so much damage you can do, and you are always so ridiculously careful and tender with me.  

Mmm…  Well, perhaps not always…  But I’m rather glad of that.  Lovely as it is, one can get too much of a good thing.  Moscato can be lovely, but not every day.  Sometimes one likes something with a little more burn and bite.

You will be remarkable at this, as you are at all things physical.  I’ve no doubt.  You doubt yourself too much.  Your instincts are very sound.  Follow them.  They’ve never led you wrong before.

Well, I think I hear you stirring.  I’ve made you breakfast you’ll be pleased to see.

 

Yours always,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(slipped beneath the bedroom door)

26/10/15

 

Sherlock,

I know you don’t want to talk right now.  Fair enough.  But, I am going to leave this for you, because I think I said everything wrong this morning, and I’m really sorry for that.  I’m terrible at this, but you mean the world to me, and so I want to try to make this better, okay?

I didn’t mean to push the issue with your brother.  If you’re not ready to talk about it, then we won’t.  I just know you loved him, and he loved you.  I know that for awhile it looked like he’d betrayed you, and you were angry, and hurt.  At least I think you were.  I wasn’t paying attention in those days.  I was still believing the lie that you didn’t feel things that way.  I was too wrapped up in my own anger and hurt.  But I did see a change in you.  And then when I was shot, and he was essentially responsible for that too…  It’s just a lot to take in and process.

You were angry and betrayed.  Rightfully so.  But then tables were turned so swiftly, and he was dying to keep you safe, had been trying to keep you safe from the start, you learned, and I don’t think you had time to tell him a proper good-bye.  There were months of anger, hurt, hate, and only minutes in which to say, “I’m sorry.  I love you.  Don’t leave me alone.”

That would be difficult for anyone, Sherlock.  Absolutely anyone.  And with a heart like yours…  I think that pain must cut pretty deep, and then just sort of sit there, take up residence, refuse to go away.

So you don’t want to see your Mum and Dad for a lot of reasons.  But mostly that.  You don’t want to be forced into a situation where you are overwhelmed with all this stuff, and have no choice but for it to all come out in front of them.  I don’t quite understand that.  But in some ways I do.  And admittedly, there is a history there I know nothing about.  That’s becoming more and more clear to me as time goes by.  I see these warm, delightful people, but all families wear masks in front of strangers.  I know that better than anyone.  Fair enough.

I will call your Mum and tell her you’re not up to coming.  I will if you really need me to.  But you can’t avoid them forever, Sherlock.  At some point this will have to be faced, unfortunately.  And what I want you to know is that you’re not facing it alone.  I’ll be there with you.  I’ll never leave your side at your parent’s house, even for a minute, if that’s what you want.  

I’m here to support you the best I can.  Why?  Because that’s what friends do for each other.  That’s what husbands do.  

So yeah, the choice is 100% up to you.  You tell me what you need, and I’ll give it.  All I was trying to do earlier was give you my perspective, offer up some food for thought.  And I think it came across as me taking your mum and dad’s side.  I’m sorry for that.  I’m always going to be on your side, Sherlock.  You’ve always been, and are always going to be, the one who matters.

I love you.

Do please come out sometime soon, yeah?  I’m making you some dinner.  That nice stew you like, with the yorkshire pudding.  Come out, and eat, and let me take care of you a little bit.  You haven’t eaten at all today, and I’m worrying.

 

Yours always,

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Tucked beneath the plate on John’s breakfast tray)

27/10/15

 

John,

 

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I got angry with you yesterday.  Mummy does tend to have that affect on me.  I hope you don’t mind that I changed my mind about going.  You will still come with me, won’t you John?  They’ve bought us a new bed, and all.  I think we should do horrible, filthy things in it.  I’m still upset that Mummy got rid of my old bed without asking.

As for the issue of Mycroft—you may be right about me grieving him.  I don’t know.  I honestly don’t know.  I know I should miss him.  That’s what people do, after all.  They miss the people they love.  They miss their family members when they are dead and gone.  But, truthfully I don’t feel anything.  I don’t think of him at all—ever.  Should I worry about that, John?  Does it mean there’s something wrong with me?

He was my brother.  He did a great deal for me, especially when I hit rock bottom in my twenties.  I can admit now, that I would most likely be dead if not for him dragging me up, and out of the gutter he found me in a few years back. 

You remember Sebastian?  We took that case for him in the first couple of months you were living with me—the one with cipher and the smuggling of Chinese antiquities?  Well, I didn’t tell you at the time, but Sebastian and I were friends once, at least I considered us to be.  Mycroft thought differently.  

Sebastian was always a bit wild.  He was the one who introduced me to drugs.  When Mycroft found out, unbeknownst to me, he paid him a rather large sum of money to shut me out.  Of course it was too late then.  I’d had a proper taste, and by cutting off my only social connections at school, Mycroft essentially pushed me even more deeply into a place of isolation, of aloneness.  And you know me well enough to know what that meant, John.  

I know he meant well, he meant to get me away from what he considered a bad influence, but by stealing my friends, he left me alone, and more dependent than ever.  I hated him for years for what he did, but I’m old and wise enough now to see that he was most likely right, at least in the essentials.

But still, it took me years to get out from under his thumb.  And I have you to thank for finally succeeding.  So, if I don’t know quite how to feel about Mycroft being gone, you will have to try and understand.  It has always been a very complicated relationship.  Fraught with so much dependance and resentment.  There is more even than what I have shared here, but I find myself strangely exhausted by writing about this, so I’m going to stop now.

You must promise me something, John.  Promise me that you won’t leave my side for even a moment when we are at my parent’s house, this weekend.  Mummy will try to separate us.  She’ll want to talk to me alone about you, and I hate that!  I hate it!  You must stay very close, John.  Would you do that for me?

You are so good to me.  Sometimes I hardly know what I’ve done to deserve it.  I know that love is not a thing you should have to earn, but realistically relationships often work that way.  No one ever really loves another person unconditionally.  But, you come close.  

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be marrying you.  I feel, finally, like life is not only something that I can fully manage with you by my side, but that it is something I actually look forward to, rather than constantly wondering if I will have the strength needed to face another day.

Falling in love with you has made me fall in love with life, it seems.

Well, I’ve made you a little breakfast, and I’m going to bring it to you now, and then I am very much hoping that when you are finished, you might curl up, and agree to spend the day in bed with me.  I feel the need of you acutely this morning.  You have a decided knack for helping me to forget the unpleasant things.

 

Ever yours,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

(Left on the tea table beside Sherlock’s chair.)

28/10/15

 

Good-morning, Love,

 

Are you alright?  I do hope you are.  

Yesterday was—unexpected.  And I’m not saying that to make you feel the least bit uncomfortable or self-conscious.  I just didn’t expect it.  It’s nice to be needed, to be wanted.  But, I’ll be honest, Sherlock—you’ve never really been quite so open and verbal about what you want and need in the middle of things before.  It was kind of comforting, really.  Having you demand things left no room for me to get it wrong.

Of course I will stick with you at your parent’s house.  I never planned to do anything else.  Of course I will do filthy, filthy things with you to christen that new bed, if horrifying your mother is that important to you (You should know I am laughing as I write this.  You’re ridiculous sometimes, you know, and I say that with all the fondness in the world).  Those demands are pretty basic, and, knowing what I do now, about your relationship with your parents and your brother, not all that surprising.  I guess what did come as a surprise, was how much you wanted to be coddled.

Listen to me now, okay, because I can sense your panic even as I’m writing this.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  It’s not in the least.  It was a very good thing.  It was nice taking care of you.  I’d just never seen you feel so free to ask, and I think that is what came as a surprise.  

All this time you’ve been recovering, you’ve been fidgeting and fussing, moping and whinging, but for the most part, you were still being you.  You were still trying to do too much.  You were still trying to push yourself, way beyond what you were capable of.  You know it.  I’ve mentioned it more than once.  Once or twice you’ve mentioned that you were scared.  And I was surprised then, too.  Surprised that you would trust me with that.  Maybe even a little surprised that you were really aware that that was what you were feeling.  But, for the most part you’ve been—well, you’ve been Sherlock.  

So, when you brought me breakfast in bed yesterday morning (ta for that, by the way!), and then crawled into my lap and curled up like a demanding cat the minute I’d taken the last bite, I worried.  Did something happen?  Just what exactly did your mum say to you when you told her we were going to come out there?

I liked taking care of you yesterday.  I loved it, okay.  You know me, loving you is what I’ve always wanted, and getting the chance to do that seems almost too good to be true every single time.  But you seemed so—small, and almost scared, and you couldn’t tell me what it was all about.  And if you don’t know yourself, then that’s okay.  I just worry, and I’d like to protect you from it, if I can.

It was nice, though.  It’s never quite been like that between us before, taking so much time and care with it, drawing it out all day, more extended foreplay, than actual fucking.  Did you like that?  We can do it more often, if you did.  I liked it.  I hope you know that.  I sometimes get the impression that you think your needing that is sort of a burden to me, that I just want it fast and furious.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I know we’ve visited this topic, over and over.  I know I’ve said what I’m about to say, before.  It’s probably an old, tired topic of conversation, and it was one I decided to set aside, once and for all, when you were sick, because just having you alive and here with me, after everything, was the greatest gift I could imagine.  I didn’t want to keep belabouring the fact that I felt inadequate at times.  But, I’ll be honest with you now, because I think it’s still effecting me, and by extension you: I always feel a little wrong footed when it comes to physical intimacy with you, still, even now, even after everything.  I always feel, deep down, like I’m getting it wrong.  

I’ve always been able to read my partners fairly well, to sort of intuit what they need, and sometimes with you, I just don’t know (I know I’ve said this before, bear with me, okay).  I think I’m scared too, Sherlock.  I think I’m scared that I’ll overstep a mark, go too far, I know you say you want it all (and you’re quite detailed about it sometimes, too!).  I know I should take you at your word, but I’ve often felt that we’re speaking different languages when it comes to sex.  Like you say one thing, but it means something different to me.  I’m desperate to understand you, to know you, to reach you fully.

I think I started to yesterday.  I think that maybe yesterday was the missing piece to the puzzle I’ve been waiting for, or one of them at least.  

I think the root of it all is this: I still see you wrongly, sometimes.  Even though I know the real you, have seen the real you, adore the real you, at times I still see the you that you present to the world, and I just buy in.  I know that’s not you (well, it’s not all of you), but it’s still a you I have stuck in my head, in a way.  You have been so successful at building up that public you, that the private you still surprises me.  It shouldn’t.  I know that.  But, it does.

Surprises me in a good way.  I should make that really clear.  I don’t ever want you thinking that you can’t be yourself with me.  I love the private you.  I love him more than I do the public you, and that’s really saying something.  I love him because he’s someone that only I get to see.  I love him because he was unexpected, because he is, in many ways, the opposite of the public you.  But mostly I love him because he is you you (yeah, I realise these last few paragraphs have been a mess, just go with me here…).  He is the you that comes from some deep place that no one has access to under normal circumstances, and for some reason you trust me with him.  

I am honoured, and overwhelmingly grateful for that.  I don’t think I deserve it, but I sure as hell take that honour seriously.  I need you to know that that part of you is safe with me.  And that is what yesterday was about for me, I think.  That is why it was so special.  I realised that what I had been missing was the bit about creating a safe place for you.  I hope to Christ that you came away from it feeling safe, too.  I tried my best.  

I don’t think of myself as a gentle man, a tender man, and you need gentle and tender, that much is clear.  Yeah, sure, I hear what you’ve said in the past about wanting me to not be afraid to be rough with you, that you’re not spun glass, that you like to be marked and owned a little.  I believe you!  But that sort of thing has to come from a place of absolute trust, from a place of feeling safe.  And you know what I just realised, all this time I’ve been questioning you, doubting that you really know what you want, but this isn’t about you.  This is really about my fears.  Because I fear the man I am inside, Sherlock.  I fear that I am unable to create, that I am literally incapable of creating a safe place like that.  

But, oh god, how I want to be that for you!  It’s so important to me!  Was it okay, then, yesterday?  Was I enough?  Say it was, and if it wasn’t tell me like you did yesterday.  Tell me how to make you feel safe.  Promise me. 

You know what my favourite bits of yesterday were?  Do you want to know?  I loved stripping you down, bit by aching bit (‘No clothes, John.’).  I loved wrapping you up in that big soft blanket from the end of the bed, holding you in my lap, and petting your head (‘Hair, John.’).  I loved reading to you (‘Read to me.  That book.  No, that one!’).  I loved building a fire in the hearth, and then unwrapping you again, slowly, taking my time as I traced my fingers over every inch of skin (‘Touch me, please…’)  I loved following those same trails with kisses (‘Kiss me.’).  I loved taking you in hand and helping you come (‘Please, John.  Please…’).  I loved washing you afterward, taking all those precautions we soon won’t need to, and then wrapping you back up and crawling back into bed to hold and soothe you, until I felt you let go completely (‘Stay, John.  Say you’ll stay.’).  

I loved the way you arched up and pressed your face into my neck then, I loved that you felt safe enough to cry.  I still don’t understand why.  Maybe you don’t either.  But I hope you know it was okay.  I hope you felt that you could and can, always can if you need to, and I hope you know that I will always be here, that I always want to be your safe place to fall, Sherlock.  

You’re mine, you know.  You’ve held me up, and held me close, so many times.  I wouldn’t be the man I am today if not for you and the way you love me.  I’m a better man for having been loved by you.  I hope I’m becoming a better man by learning how to love you, too.

You’ve been sleeping way past your usual time, and I’m going to let you.  You need it.  It’s good.  And I think you were right about going to see your parents, and how it would take a lot out of you.  It’s my mistake for not seeing that.  They seem such good, kind people (and probably are).  But, that doesn’t mean that they are easy.  I’m so used to extremes with my family, that I failed to see how deeply draining it might be for you.  I’m sorry.

You don’t always have to say yes to me, you know.  I’m not always right about these things.  I don’t know what’s best for you, better than you know for yourself.  Sometimes you need a little prodding to take care of yourself, but those are things you already know and just need reminding of.  If I was wrong about your parents you should have insisted.  I don’t want you overexerting yourself.  You’re right, you do still have recovering to do, and if they are going to take a lot out of you, I’m still willing to put my foot down, both as a doctor and as your husband.

 

Yours with all my heart,

John

 

Chapter Text

(Hand delivered to John over supper.)

28/10/15

 

John (or should I say Love?),

 

Are we using terms of endearment now?  Should I call you something other than John?  I like John.  Would you be terribly hurt if I kept using it?  Your name has always been dear to me.  You may call me whatever you like, of course (well, barring the utterly ridiculous, but I don’t think that you would stoop to those levels).

I’ve been very quiet today.  I know that you noticed.  I hope it helped that I told you that I read your letter and liked it very much.  But, I did need time to think it over, John, because there were some things you said, which affected me quite deeply, and I needed time to consider and think.  Here is the conclusion I’ve come to:

I do believe that I did you a great disservice in the beginning of our relationship, especially in how I approached the topic of sex.  I made assumptions about you that were wrong, and I acted based on those assumptions, and I caused you to believe some things about yourself which are patently untrue.

Here are the things I assumed: 

  • That you needed sex quite frequently in order to be happy.
  • That you required variety and a certain level of skill from your partners to keep you satisfied.
  • That you liked it rough.
  • That you needed to let go more and let yourself be, for lack of a better term, ‘taken care of’ during sex.

John, I may have been projecting.  I think I was quite the fool to not use my usual policy of interpreting data where sex between us is concerned.  

My usual policy when in social/emotional situations I don’t understand, is to observe.  I observe how the other person acts.  It is usually a fairly good indicator of how they want to be treated.  If, for instance, they always greet you with a cheery good-morning, it usually means that they wish to be greeted with a cheery good-morning in return.  But, if, instead, they just barely grunt out a response before going for their morning coffee, then one can assume that they are not a morning person, and wish for quiet and little communication in the mornings.

It’s a sound strategy which has stood me in good stead my whole life.  There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part it can be relied upon.

So, I studied up on you.  I’ll be quite honest, John, I had (well I have) a file.  It’s useful to me to gather, keep and track such data.  

I observed that you would have quite a bit of sex with your girlfriends, especially initially.  Mary told me that you both had quite a lot of rather vigorous sex when you first met.  Now I know what I do about her, I suppose that might not have been entirely true, that she might only have said so to cause me pain, but at the time it fit with what I knew of you and your interactions with other girlfriends, so I had no immediate cause to dismiss that data as false.  

I also observed that you were happier when you were having sex, and more frustrated, and angry when you were not.  At least in the old days, back before I left.  

I tracked your porn preferences to see what you preferred.  Allowing some leeway for the fact that all porn is exaggeration, and often borders on the brink of ridiculous, I deduced that you preferred scenarios which involved a dominant/submissive dynamic, that you enjoyed exploring a variety of kinks (though some you only viewed once and didn’t revisit), that you had a slight inclination toward mild bondage but generally steered clear of abduction fantasies, and the like.  

I looked at all of this, and I assumed that it meant you had a desire to be owned and dominated, and I was desperate to give you what you needed.  But I think that perhaps I’ve gotten it all wrong.  I assumed that when you were having a great deal of sex with your girlfriends that it was because you wanted it, required that much sex to be happy.  It didn’t occur to me that perhaps there were other reasons you might want to have sex with such frequency.  

You had these girlfriends mostly between the confrontation with James Moriarty at the pool, and your encounter with Irene Adler at Battersea.  Then, suddenly you stopped seeing them.  You saw no one until long after I was dead.  Am I wrong in assuming, then, that part of the reason you were dating and engaging in so much sex with those women was because you had burgeoning feelings for me, and didn’t know where to direct them?  Oh, I don’t want to presume too much.  You absolutely must correct me if I’m wrong.  Really, John.  Feel fully free to tell me to ‘piss off’ if I’m overstepping my mark.

But you see, I wonder if my assumptions about you needing sex every day (or several times a day), were based on erroneous data.  Having sex to run from your own feelings, is not the same as having sex as an expression of them.  Having sex to try to prove something, is not the same as having sex to express something.  Having sex to stop yourself from feeling, is not the same as having it as an outpouring of feeling, you see. 

I have felt as though you were not satisfied with me, because you have not wanted to have sex every day, while you would sometimes have sex twice a day with girlfriends past.  I see now that I was making assumptions that I should not have.  I shouldn’t gauge how often you might like you and me to have sex by how often you have felt the need to have sex with them.  It’s not a fair comparison.  Our relationship is so different.

I also think that perhaps I’ve done you a great disservice in assuming you require a certain level of skill on my part.  It seems that my worries about my own inadequacy in this regard, only serve to make you feel badly, and to question your own level of experience.  We are both learning.  It is new to both of us.  I will try to stop fussing over getting it right all the time, John.  You know how difficult that is for me.  I want to get it perfectly right the first time, and every time thereafter, but it seems that sex is more art than science, and there is no hard, fast formula that works the same way every time.  I will endeavour to accept and even embrace beautiful failures.

And now the last two points, and I think, from some of what you said in your letter this morning, that these misconceptions on my part have been most damaging of all.  My assumptions that you like being the recipient of rough sex, but that you really need to be treated tenderly, gently always, that you need to learn to open your heart more during sex.  While there is a truth to these things in their essentials, I have been making assumptions about them, that are all wrong, and I know that those assumptions have hurt you horribly in the past.

Bear with me, John.  Please, please know this.  Everything I say here comes from a place of deepest love.  This is me saying that I have been wrong, all wrong, I think, in the assumptions I have made about what you need and desire, and that seems a horrible failing on my part.  It is my job to know you, see you.  It has always been.  It is (and correct me if I am wrong), the thing that first made you fall in love with me.  All those deductions in those first 24 hours?  I’m sorry John.  I’m so sorry that I’ve missed something as essential as this.  That I have not only misunderstood you, but also myself.

To begin, let me tell you what my assumptions have been:  I assumed from my observations of your pornography preferences, from the sorts of girlfriends, and the wife you chose, from your past relationship (though it was not sexual) with your old commanding officer, and the dynamic that you and I have shared in the past (especially on cases), that you had a need to be dominated, that you liked a bit of adrenaline and danger in your sexual experiences.  That you wanted to be manhandled a little, but at the root of it all you wanted to be coddled and cared for, and just didn’t feel you could ask.  

Who wouldn’t want such delights?!  

Well, plenty of people wouldn’t—apparently.  Including you, I think.  This was me projecting, John.  It wasn’t until this morning, reading your letter, hearing you talk about how you didn’t think that you were a gentle or tender man, that you were afraid that you were not, that you might fail me in that regard, that so many pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

So, I am going to say some things here, John.  Please read to the end before you react or comment.  It’s important to me that you read the whole of it, so that you get the full picture of what I’m saying.  I worry that this may make you angry, so give me time to lay out my full theory before setting the letter down and walking away.  Can you do that for me?  

Alright.  On we go then…

Firstly, I want to tell you something very important.  You are a gentle and tender man.  The way you have been with me these last months demonstrates that.  There are very few people who would have been as patient, as understanding, as nurturing—not just in what we have been building between us, but all through my recovery from this ridiculous illness.  How you were with me yesterday, all day, and how you lit up with it, with that opportunity to indulge and care for me.  You even said it in your letter, that you like taking care of me, it feels like a gift to you every time.  A hard, cold man would not say that, John.

Forgive me for my bluntness, but you are not your father.

Because that is the root of all this, isn’t it?  That is where that fear comes from?

I have been thinking a lot about that night at your old flat in Acton.  How things began, and where they ended up.  You were so angry that night.  It lit this fire in you, and in the beginning it was you who pushed me into that bedroom, into the bed you had shared with your wife, it was you who practically tore my clothes from my body, and threw me down on that mattress, and marked me, with bites, and rough kisses.  Did you see me complaining?  Did you see me resisting, or asking you to stop?  I didn’t.

But you did stop, suddenly, pale faced, trembling, eyes full, and horrified, and then you completely switched tactics, and begged me to take you.  Of course I said yes.  It aligned with the wrong assumptions I had been making up until then, this assumption that you wanted me to take control of it all.  

And then, as you know, it didn’t work out at all, and we just sort of fumbled our way through to the end, but with none of the heat or urgency of before.   And I think I know why now.  We were on the right track in the beginning.  Yes there was anger mixed in with it that night, and that was not ideal.  But in it’s essentials, you had got it right.

I know you fear, deep down, that I would just take anything from you, that I would take abuse from you, if I thought it necessary to keep you.  And I’ve told you again, and again that this isn’t true.  And I don’t think you believe me.  And now I see why.  

It’s this fear in you that you are your father.  But, I’m going to say it again, because it is SO important that you know it, John.  

You are not your father.  

You are John Watson.  You are the strongest, gentlest, bravest, best man I have ever had the privilege to know.  And when you take me, and mark me, you aren’t abusing me John.  You’re giving me precisely what I like.  I want you to own me like, that.  And yes, of course I want the gentling, the tenderness, the care that you always give me afterwards (and often before as well).  But the two are not mutually exclusive.  They can (and should, I think) occur together.

Wanting to own me, wanting to take me, tame me, quiet my mind utterly, is not abuse, John.  Not from you.  I crave it.  I need it.  That is why I assumed that you wanted and needed it too.  I was projecting.  I was assuming that you must desire those things, because I desire them so intensely.

I trust you, John.  I know that you would never hurt me.  I know that you would never push me past what was safe, or what I could bear.  And that is what I have been trying to ask for all this time, without even really realising it.  Yesterday was perfect.  I could tell that you wanted to give me all those things, but that you stop yourself so often, because you are starting to lose confidence that you really know what I want.  I asked for those things yesterday because I desperately needed them, but in the midst of it all, I realised how desperately you needed it too, how desperately you needed to give to me, and by always trying to give to you, in the past, I had been denying you that.

I know that none of these things are set in stone, that sexual roles are not permanent and inflexible.  I know that sometimes I may want to gentle and coddle you, and sometimes you may want to be owned.  It’s fine.  We’ll figure it out.  But, what I am saying John, is that it’s alright that you want to mark and own me, it’s alright that you want pin me to the mattress and take me.  I want it.  Oh John, I’m so hungry for it.  I want your instruction and your orders.  I want you to tell me how to pleasure you.  I want you to make me wait for my own release.  That isn’t subjugation on your part, John.  It’s submission on mine.  It’s my choice.

You were right, John.  I do need gentle and tender.  That is why yesterday was so precious to me.  But my mind won’t shut off sometimes.  I get so frustrated with it.  I want you to make it stop, and when you tell me what to do, it stops.  I get all quiet inside.  You bark out an order, and my knees go to jelly, and my brain goes fuzzy and soft, round the edges, and all my anxiety fades, and it’s just you, everything hyper-focussed on you.  You have no idea the relief that is, the release it is.  I know this may be hard for you to understand, John, but it is an act of gentleness, of tenderness, because through your orders, you free me from the ever-present demands of my overactive mind.

It is a sign that I trust you implicitly that I would even tell you this.  You know how I take pride in my mind.  In many ways I feel that my intelligence, my mind is the best part of me.  But what I don’t tell anyone.  What I have never told anyone until this very moment, is that my mind very often feels like a prison, too.  Round and round it goes, always racing, uploading data, analysing it, sorting, storing, never deleting a single thing, unless I make the conscious effort to do so.  I am wracked with anxiety, and over-stimulated much of the time.

And sometimes that reaches critical mass, and  I fuss, and sulk, and get in a state, and you lose your patience, and snap, “For fuck sake, Sherlock, SIT!”  And then like someone flipping a light switch, everything stops. I sit.  I blink at you.  You probably keep talking, but I only half hear you, until you issue me some other order, “You are going to eat this sandwich, or so help me god!  Now come here.  Sit down, and EAT!”  And I do!  And it’s wonderful, John!  My whole body lights up with it.  I get warm and relaxed.  I feel safe.  

Finally!  Finally something definitive to do, to please you.  My brain doesn’t have to work anymore.  It has it’s command to focus on, and if I execute it perfectly then there is thanks, and praise, and your smile of satisfaction to let me know I’ve done well.  And oh, the pleasure of that!  The release of it!  You have no idea, John.

Does this make sense to you?  I fear it might not.  It’s just starting to make sense to me.  But we can talk about it, can’t we?  Can we try it?

I do feel safe with you, John, so safe.  I have never had that, you know.  Not even as a child.  I never felt accepted wholly.  I never felt that anyone understood my need for order in the midst of the chaos I created for myself.  I never, ever felt nurtured, safe, home.  The world was a confusing, terrifying thing, that I constantly tried to mentally order, and I just wanted someone to slow the constant whirl of it for awhile, and they never could.  

You do.  

You give me that with your firmness, your calm in the midst of danger and chaos, your captain’s bearing.  It’s one of the reasons I panic so much when you just walk away and leave in your anger.  When you go, you take that calm centre with you.  You throw me entirely out of orbit.  Everything is chaos again.  I understand your need for it now, and I’m more than willing to give it.  It’s easier knowing that you will come back.  But I still feel moorless without you.  You’re my rock, John.  You always have been.

And so I’ve come to the end of what I’d asked to to get through without questions or comment.  We can talk about it now, if you like.  It is a lot.  I realise that.  But your letter this morning was like a lightbulb coming on for me, and I have been mulling it over all day.  I needed to get it down on paper, now, before I lost it.

The main thing I need you to know is this: you are a remarkable man, filled with patience and tenderness, gentleness and love.  Any desire you may have to dominate me a little does not negate any of these things.  It doesn’t make you a bad man.  It means that you are intuitive, and attentive to my needs, that you have picked up on what I needed before I even knew myself.  And I’m sorry if the assumptions I’ve been making, and my own lack of self-awareness in this area led you to feel the opposite, made you feel that you didn’t know me, didn’t see me, could never speak the same love language I do.

Oh John, I owe you the deepest of apologies.  Can you forgive me for that?  Can you forgive me for getting it all wrong and hurting you in the process?

 

Yours wholly,

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Hand delivered to Sherlock in bed.)

29/10/15

 

Sherlock,

 

I got up early this morning, for the express purpose of getting this all down before you woke up.  You’ve waited long enough, and I’m really grateful to you for giving me time to think about everything.  It was a lot, and I wanted to be sure I’d got everything sorted in my head before I talked about it.

First of all, I want to thank-you for last night.  For not forcing the discussion when I got home from the walk, for having the fire lit, for letting me just be with you for awhile before we went to sleep.  I like that, Sherlock.  I like what we’ve started to build since you came home from the hospital.  I like the closeness of it.  I’ve never had that before, with anyone.  It’s special to me.  And I don’t want anything to ruin it.

I’m not saying that what you talked about in your letter yesterday would ruin it.  You seem to think it would strengthen it.  I think I can see what you mean.  But you have to know how hard it is for me, for a lot of reasons.

Firstly, as I’ve just said, I feel like we’ve reached a good place, where sex is concerned.  I feel connected to you when we are together.  It’s not just lust, or desire anymore.  There’s something else, something I can’t really put a finger on, but it’s a kind of connection, a closeness.  I feel that we are finally starting to get on the same page, and I don’t want to lose that.

Secondly, there is nothing I want more in the world than to make sure that you are safe, and healthy, and well taken care of.  Maybe it’s the soldier in me, wanting to protect.  Maybe it’s the doctor in me wanting to heal.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m your husband, and I love you, and I can’t bear the thought of life without you, or without you loving me and knowing that you are loved in return.  Your heart, and body, and soul are precious to me.  I would kill anyone who hurt you.  I have done.  But what do I do if the person hurting you is me?

And maybe I’m picturing this all wrong.  I’ve only had one partner who ever even suggested this sort of thing, and she wanted to be the dominant one.  And I said no, and she respected that.  But, I’ll admit, I was intrigued.  

You apparently track my porn preferences, so I guess you know the sort of thing I’ve explored in the past.  I’ve watched stuff that is both sides of the coin, the woman being the dominant partner, and the man.  I didn’t much like either.  It felt like a power imbalance, it felt demeaning (or maybe I was just always watching really shite porn and have the totally wrong idea).  

I mean, I thought I didn’t like it, at least…  Did I really keep watching it?  You said I preferred the stuff with a mild dominant/submissive dynamic, that I was into mild bondage?  Why do I not remember that for myself?  I believe you.  You are very careful with your data collection.  It just kind of scares me that I don’t remember it.

Being dominated somewhat by my partner, though it’s something I am sort of used to on a platonic level outside the bedroom, though it sort of has a familiarity and comfort level to it, isn’t really something I feel comfortable with inside the bedroom, I don’t think.  And being the dominating one sexually, well that just always feels like degradation and abuse to me, Sherlock, and I would never want to do that to you.

Well, okay…  Maybe I’m slighting open to the idea of soft domination and submission, and maybe even mild bondage, if you like.  I’ve tied girlfriends up before, and had them bind me.  But, just really basic, wrists to the headboard with a silk necktie kind of thing.  It’s the discipline, the sadism, the masochism I can’t think about.

Or maybe I’m sort of lumping the rough stuff in with this domination and submission idea, thinking full on BDSM, and that’s not where you meant it to go at all?  I don’t know.  I feel totally out of my depth here.  

I don’t want to hurt you, okay.  That’s hard for me.  I don’t want to actually physically hurt you, even if it’s in a safe way.  It’s hard for me to forgive myself when I do, and I have hurt you a couple of times I think.  That night in Acton, it was too rough, I was too angry.  And even lately, it scares me how pleased and possessive I feel seeing the bruises I bite and suck into your skin sometimes.  It’s this fierce thing.  And it feels thrilling and wrong at the same time.  Maybe there’s balance to be found, but I don’t know how.  I feel like there are two of me, and they are always battling one another, a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde situation.

God, Sherlock.  I mean it when I say I would kill to protect you, and I don’t know what to do with the fear that the person you may most need protecting from is me.  That’s why I walk away when I’m angry, did you know that?  I’m terrified, every single time, that I will lose control, that this time, this time will be the one when I come unhinged, when I hurt you irreparably.  And you know I’m capable of it.  Remember the night you came back to me.  How many times did I hit you that night?  Hmm?  How many times did I draw blood?  

I’ve never said a proper sorry for that.  Partially it was because I was angry, still angry, every time I thought about it.  It was a horrible, horrible thing to do, Sherlock.  But, I know you know that, so that’s done.  It’s over.  I won’t belabour it now.  The other reason I never apologised, the main reason, probably, was that I didn’t know how.  It seemed too big, too overwhelming, and as much as I feel that the way you came back that night was wrong, insensitive and cruel, I think that it is still no excuse for what I did, and I haven’t apologised, because somewhere deep down, I don’t think that I felt I deserved forgiveness.  

You know why?  Because I liked it a bit.  It felt good, and it shouldn’t have.

There was that other time, the Adler case.  You asked me to hit you.  I said no.  You hit me, and and it lit something up inside of me, and I hit you back, and then I just kept on going, and it felt good.  Christ, it felt amazing!  But, it shouldn’t have, that’s the thing!

I don’t know how to process that.  I don’t know what that says about me.  It makes me feel that you aren’t really, truly safe with me, no matter how much you say you feel you are.  And yeah, maybe it makes me feel that somewhere, deep down, my dad does live in me, still, and it’s only a matter of time before he comes out.  You know the statistics, Sherlock.  You know that chances are good that I’m just an abuser waiting to happen.

I love you too much, to ever let that happen.  And I’m really scared that I’ve already come dangerously close a couple of times.  And yeah, I don’t know that you would tell me ‘no’.  I know that you think you would, but I’m not sure.

Christ, this is really upsetting me, and I hate it.  I’m just going to stop, and go in and wake you up, and maybe we should just talk about it.  I don’t know.  I didn’t expect this to be this hard.  I’m sorry.  I had a whole letter sort of planned out in my head, and it’s all fallen to pieces now…

I just love you, Sherlock.  I want this to work.  I want us to find the things that are going to work, and not just be adequate, but be safe, fulfilling, phenomenal, amazing!  You deserve nothing less.

Chapter Text

(Hand delivered to John over supper.)

29/10/15 

 

John,

 

Now I’ve had time to let this morning’s pleasures settle, and to read the letter I never quiet got to before all of that transpired, I find myself hoping that what we shared helped alleviate some of your concerns mentioned there.  

Would it help you if I let you know, again, that I never once felt pushed too far?  It’s true.  I felt near the breaking point many times, and I did fail you a little in the end, and for that I am sorry.  I will be more obedient next time.  But, you were so patient, and firm, and fair.  You were everything I had ever dreamed and more.  You were incandescent, glorious John!

You don’t know what it does to me, to have you speak to me like that!  Every nerve in my body sings, and I’m simultaneously over-stimulated and calmer than I’ve ever been in my life.  It’s like you short-circuit my brain for a little while.

Oh, and the thing you did, with your tongue.  Do that again.  Would you?  Would you promise to do it again if I were very, very good?!

We head out to my parents’ tomorrow.  You could test me there.  I would be very quiet.  Their room is right next to mine.  Imagine it, John.  Imagine how good I’d have to be.  Or maybe you’d rather I be very loud.  Shock them.  Give them something to uncomfortably avoid addressing over the breakfast table the next morning.  Whatever you like, of course.

I’m sorry, I’m getting off track.  I’m meant to be talking about you, and your other letter.  

Is it alright now, then, John.  Do you see how it can be between us, without it having to become what you feared there?  I imagine we will grow into this, things will shift over time, and we may decide we are comfortable with new things, taking things a tiny bit further, but the thing I most hope, John, is that you will understand that you needn’t fear that part of yourself.  Because as much as, yes, there is that need in you for danger, adrenaline, pushing the edges, it is also tempered with goodness, gentleness, and restraint.  

You are a upright and honourable man.  Good in all the ways a man should be.  You are not the man who raised you.  Yes, his blood flows in your veins, but you are not him, and he could never have hoped to be even one tenth the man you have become.

You are strong and principled, gentle and fair, brave and vulnerable.  You are the man I have chosen to marry, because you are all those things, but most of all, because you are John Watson, the best man I have ever known.  The finest human being amongst the billions of human beings who are now, or who have ever been.  

You are a gift to me—a blessing.  You are everything I don’t deserve, every thing I never thought to have, or even dreamt of having.  You are my salvation, and my rest.  It always has been, and always will be you, and only you.

You quiet me.  Did you know that you are the first person to ever have been able to do that?  

Oh, I’m sure Mummy will regale you ceaselessly with stories of what a difficult child I was.  Always moving, always thinking, always talking or staying silent when I shouldn’t.  Trouble, John—a little bundle of precocious, fractious vexation.  She will tell you certainly.

It pleases me for her to see that she was wrong about me, John.  That all of that wasn’t all just me.  If it was all me, then I would be unable to be good for you, and yet here we are.  You help me unravel the difficult things, set them straight, or just somehow set them aside, let them settle, and fade.  

I wish I was better able to find the words to express how profound a thing this is.  You’ve saved me, John.  You’ve saved me from myself (and not for the first time).

Well, I suppose I should set this aside now, and pack my bag for tomorrow.  I’m forgetting things.  I can tell.  Look through it all when I’m done and remind me, won’t you.

 

Yours in profound gratitude and love,

 

Sherlock

 

p.s. - Oh, I’ve realised that I forgot my toothbrush, remind me before I go to sleep tonight, or I will forget, for sure.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  5:03 PM

to: John

 

John,

I’m hiding.  Hiding from Mummy like I am five years old all over again.  I’m sure you are going to try and track me down very soon, but for now I’m sat up here in my old room, sending you this email (because I couldn’t find any paper to write you a proper letter, without having to go downstairs to Mummy’s study).

I can hear everything she is saying to you through the grate, did you know that.  I used to sit up here when I was a child and listen to all the adult conversations going on in the kitchen below.  One can learn a lot of things that way.  That’s how I found out that my father was not Mycroft’s father, that Mummy had been married before, and that Mycroft had another brother (also now dead).  It’s also how I found out, when I was 9 years old, that my father was seeing someone else.  I announced it unsurreptitiously over dinner one night.  That went over exactly as you would have expected.  

They worked it out evidently, as you see.  Father worships Mummy.  Even then, even when he was seeing Andrew, Mummy was the centre of his universe.  I think they came to an arrangement.  Andrew used to come to dinner sometimes, on holidays and such.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this.  Why am I telling you all this, John?  I’m sure you have no interest whatsoever in all the little Holmes family dramas…

Mummy is telling you about me.  I told you she would.  I told you she would tell you what a fractious, troublesome child I was.  Oh, I know she doesn’t frame it quite that way.  She’s very good about that.  But you see what I was like?!  

She isn’t wrong, John.  She’s only telling you the truth.  I only wish she wouldn’t tell you.  I think you find me quite the child sometimes, even now.  I am sorely lacking in all the skills deemed ‘adult’.  Boring.  Boring, John!  But, expected none-the-less.

Do you find me troublesome?

Oh there, see.  She’s telling you about my ‘nude phase’.  She loves to tell that story.  It was only a brief stretch, and it was the early 80’s, John.  Surely you can recall the sensation of polyester next to the skin!  Horrible!  Also, Mummy had a brief flirtation with the craft of knitting, and spinning her own yarn, and the resulting jumpers were an exercise in torture, both in sheer ugliness, as well as itch.

Yes, yes, I would run off to the woods naked in the mornings rather than getting dressed, but I was 4 years old!  And, have you ever been naked outdoors on a summer’s morning?  It’s rather nice, actually.  You should try it sometime.  I’m sure the back garden at home is sheltered enough from prying eyes.

Oh yes, now she’s trying to smooth it over…

My mind is not a wonder and a curse!

Don’t listen to her.  I was not so much alone as all that!  

Well, perhaps I was…  But have you met children?!  Children, with only rare exceptions, are horrid: loud, and sticky, and they stink.  Why do children stink so much, do you think?  I’m not referring to babies.  Babies, when they aren’t reeking of full nappy, actually smell rather pleasant.  But children stink.  They always smell of the homes they come from, a dozen different meals, and household cleaners, and laundry detergents, and pets.  And they’re always ill.  Why are children always ill?  You’re a doctor.  I suppose you know that.  So much mucus!

I DID NOT almost blow up my bedroom.  I only started it on fire, a little.

To be fair, I only struck my tutor twice.  And both times it was rather his fault, John.  He’d insist I stop fidgeting, or respond verbally when I was already in a state, and you know how I get.  He also used to always put out Redbeard, even though I cried and begged him not to.  He was a horrible man—the favourite student of some old colleague of Mummy’s from the Psychology department at Cambridge when Skinner and Lovaas were all the rage.  I think he saw me as his little lab rat, but he got ‘results’, so he stayed.  I suppose I did rather learn to get on because of him, but I’ve no pleasant memories of him that I can recall.  If there were some, I probably deleted them out of spite.

You’re going to think so poorly of me after this, aren’t you John…

Now you’ve texted me, and I’m to come down.  I made you laugh though, didn’t I.  That’s something.  Well, I’ve promised to come down, so come down I will.  I do hope you stick close to me tonight.  There will be board games after supper.  There are always board games.  Mummy will want to play Go or Mastermind.  She’ll win.  She always wins.  Daddy will want Scrabble.  They’ll pretend to bicker about it.  It’s bound to be very tedious.

 

Yours in agony,

Sherlock

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   7:21  AM 

to: Sherlock

 

Good-morning,

You are sleeping so soundly, and I can’t bear to wake you after all the strain of yesterday.  You need your rest.  I’m sorry, Sherlock.  I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you when you said you didn’t want to come for a visit.  If you agreed simply for my sake, then I owe you a huge apology.  If it’s too much, just tell me and we can go home again after breakfast.  I’ll tell your parents that you’re ill and need to go home to have a proper rest.

Coming home is hard.  I never went home again after I left for uni, except for Dad’s funeral, and then for Mum’s.  Harry’s the only home I have left.  Even so I avoid her much of the time, you know that, and now she’s essentially gone, too.  I’ve never had to face this.  I’ve never had to come home and face both my parents when doing it brings up so many difficult memories of growing up, when every inch of the house is haunted by memories of a brother (brothers?) now gone.  

I could see how hard it was for you yesterday, from the very moment we arrived.  Perhaps before.  I’m sorry I gave Gladstone a swat on the train.  He was so overly excited, and that seemed to be triggering your anxiety when you were already fussing about the train schedules, and our late start.  It was all a bit of a mess, and that was my fault, for sleeping through the alarm.  And you were right to be angry with me about the thing with Gladstone, too.  Won’t happen again.  I promise.  

But, all that aside, I could see from the moment we got here, and your Mum insisted on lunch, and chatting, and the neighbours were there, and you were all burned out and exhausted already, that it was too much.  I could see why you didn’t want to come.  I should have trusted you to know your own limits, and not have pushed it.  And I shouldn’t have pushed you again to come down to dinner when you were all but done.  Forgive me?

You’re so amazing, Sherlock.  Do you know that.  I’m rather awed by your courage sometimes.  You don’t give yourself enough credit.  Now don’t go letting that go to your head.  You give yourself PLENTY of credit for that brilliant brain and smart mouth of yours (you could maybe dial that back a notch, now and again).  But what I mean is, for how you get on, day-to-day, despite everything.  For your quiet effort, and and your determination, and and sheer stubbornness in the face of constant, and what must sometimes feel like, almost insurmountable challenge.

I know it’s hard, and doubly so now that you’re ill, and don’t have your usual resources to draw on.  You stay so strong, and I almost never hear you mention the pain, let alone complain about it.  And I do know when you’re in pain, Sherlock.  I see it in your eyes.  And not just the physical pain from this illness, but the mental pain, the emotional pain.  I’ve been seeing that for years, even though I second guessed myself a lot of the time.

I saw you hug your Mum goodnight last night, even though you were almost completely shut down by then, because you saw she was upset (about Mycroft do you think?).  You were so gentle with her—gentle in the same way you’ve been with me when I was so broken, in so much pain, that I could barely respond, and certainly couldn’t reciprocate.  

How are you so good?  You are the best, the kindest, the most human person I have ever known.  Sometimes I wish I could be half as intuitive about other people and their needs as you are.  I miss things, Sherlock.  You know that.  I miss so much of the important stuff.  I’m trying to be better, and I hope you feel as loved as you are. I hope you know it, feel it, without a doubt.  

I hope last night was what you needed.  I know you’d mentioned wanting more in the afternoon, but you seemed done in by the time we finally got to bed, and I thought that maybe just laying there, the weight of me on top of you, no talking, just—being together.  I thought maybe that was what you wanted.  Was I right?  Tell me when you get up this morning, okay.  I love it when you tell me what you need. 

I want you to know something, okay.  Don’t you ever think that there is a thing your family, or anyone, could tell me about you and your past, that would make me love you any less.  Everything I learn only makes me love you more.

I especially enjoyed learning about your nude phase.  Totally unsurprising.  Don’t forget—it’s not as though you’ve outgrown it completely.  I do remember a certain someone who went to Buckingham Palace a few years back in nothing but a bed sheet. ;)

Christ, I love you!

Oh, and just for the record, your mind is a wonder!  And it is only a curse if you see it as one, and you don’t, at least not as far as I can tell.  It may present you with some challenges, but as I’ve already said, you face them with all your usual stubbornness and determination, and all the sarcasm and wit you can muster.  And on those rare occasions when it is being just a little too much, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s what I’m here for.  I’m always going to be here, and always in your corner, because I love you, and that’s what best friends do, that’s what partners and lovers do, and that’s especially what husbands do.

Also for the record, there is no way I could ever think poorly of you for anything you did as a child, and especially not for hitting your tutor when backed into a corner.  In fact I’ve half a mind to track that bloke down and give him a nice swift tutorial with my fist.  

I know I’ve said this before, but I do wish I’d known you when you were a boy.  Not sure what I would have done, as we were four years apart, and that would have made me a teenager when you were still just a wee little thing, but I don’t like to think of you being so much alone.  Get’s me all hot under the collar, and itching for a fight.  People hurting you is never okay with me, and I don’t care who they are or when it was.  

This love I have for you is a fierce, primal thing sometimes.  I’d kill for you, you know that.  I have done, and I would again in a heartbeat.  I would die for you, except for the fact that I could never forgive myself if I were to leave you alone, and I think you would rather die together than be left alone in this world again.  I know I would.

Well, I’ve written myself into a state, so I’m going to send this off now, and wake you up with a little of what you were begging for yesterday.  How’s that sound? ;)

 

All in, and all yours,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

John Watson <jwatson57@gmail.com>   2:56  PM 

to: Sherlock

 

Sherlock,

 

Do you know how much I love you?  I hope you do.  You’re resting now, and I think that’s for the best.  I’m just sitting here watching you, in case you wake up.  You’ve been whimpering a little in your sleep, and I’m concerned that you might be dreaming.  I’m here if you need me. 

It was okay this morning, you know.  It’s okay to cry.  I mean, I know you know that.  Of the two of us, you probably are more of the crier.  But, I mean that, what happened this morning, that level of grief that sort of crawls underneath your skin, and tears you wide open again, until you feel like you’re left flayed, and raw, and exhausted.  You don’t have to apologise to me for how far that went.  

I’m not sure I handled it exactly the way you needed me to, but I tried my best, and you can tell me how to do better next time, once you’re feeling a little more up to it, okay.  Don’t worry about your parents either.  As you say, they’re used to you, and if they worry, I’ll tell them that they needn’t.  I’ve got you.  I’m always going to have your back, hold you up, because it’s my job, because I want to, because I love you.

And I did mean what I said.  Your brother knew you loved him, Sherlock.  And the most important thing in the world to him was that you were safe, and living a happy, fulfilling life.  That’s the greatest gift you can give him now, the best way you can respect and honour his memory.  Live your life.  Make it a full and good one.  Be happy.  Love and be loved in return.  The only reason Mycroft ever encouraged you not to get attached to people, is because he saw how it broke you each and every time you experienced a rejection or a loss, I’m sure of that.  He would want this, Sherlock.  He would want you to be safe, and happy, and loved.

And now, I’ll leave this topic, and not bring it up again, unless you want to.  I’m here to listen, and I’m here to talk if you want, but if it’s still too fresh, and it still hurts too much, then we’ll leave it.  It’s up to you.

Your mum’s decided not to go to the Halloween festivities at the local parish, tonight.  She knows you’re in no state.  I think she’s making a lovely supper.  All your favourites, she said.  That’s good.  You do need to eat.  Doctor’s orders.  You need the grounding of it.  You expel a lot of energy, and get so exhausted after moments like this afternoon.  A good, hearty dinner will do you good.  And then you can have whatever you like.  We can go back to bed, or go sit out in the yard in the dark, and look at the stars, or take Gladstone on a little walk.  Whatever you want.  Promise.

Do you know how close we are to our wedding, now?!  Less than eight weeks!  Are you excited?  I am.  I know it’s just a formality, really.  I suppose, in some ways, we’ve always been bonded that way, deep down.  But, there is still something really great about saying it, vowing it, out loud, in front of people.  I want everyone to know how much I love you.  I want everyone to know you’re mine, and I’m yours, and of course the legality, the security, the comfort of that, too.

I think that what we have is a miracle, Sherlock.  It’s certainly something I never thought to be lucky or blessed enough to find in my life.  As romantic as you seem to think I am, I never really believed in this kind of love.  I guess, I didn’t know to believe in it.  I didn’t know it existed, and you can’t believe in something you aren’t even aware of.  

You’ve taught me so much about love the last few months.  I’m grateful for that.  I’m so grateful that you let me love you.  That I have permission now.  I’m grateful, too, that you tell me what you want, that we’re finally finding our way.  It took a little bit of work, didn’t it, learning to speak one another’s language?  But I think we are starting to now, and I’m overwhelmed with how great that feels.

Christ, sex has been fantastic the last few days!  Tell me it’s been as good for you as it has for me!  Well, be honest if it hasn’t…  But you seemed to be enjoying yourself, well enough ;).  I love watching you flush, and squirm.  I love watching you blink and shiver when I give you orders.  I love the sounds you make when I’ve got my tongue inside you…  

Jesus, I really shouldn’t go down that track, or I’ll be in bad way here in a minute, and there’s no way you’ve got the energy for that!

All that to say, I love how far we’ve come this year.  I know it’s been a lot.  If I could take back your loss, the illness, and the pain you have now, the grief, and suffering, and sacrifice, if I could somehow erase it all, I would, Sherlock.  But, in some ways I can also see that it’s brought us here.  And I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else with anyone else.  I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, for this.  And now here we are, together, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened or ever will happen to me.  You are the best thing.

Well, I’m going to set this aside for now, curl up here beside you and hold you for awhile.  You always seem to like that when you get like this, me holding you close and tight.

 

Yours heart, body and soul,

 

John

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock Holmes <sholmes129@gmail.com>  11:58 PM

to: John

 

John,

 

You’re very good.  So good to me, John, and so patient.  You were right.  I was smug tonight at dinner.  Is that wrong?  Is it wrong that I’m pleased that Mummy and Father know that not only have I managed to attract someone as perfect as you, but that I am capable of pleasing you too?  Well, not wrong, perhaps, but rather infantile and ridiculous, I’ll lend you.

You were gorgeous though, this afternoon.  The way you came apart that way.  I get warm all over again, just thinking of it.  

And I’m glad you feel safe.  It seems a sort of magic that I am capable of making you feel that way.  You don’t know how much I’ve longed for it.  I know that probably sounds quite ridiculous, when I have long done nothing to indicate that I care a jot about your feelings.  Forgive me, John.  I couldn’t understand how anyone could be hurt by something as insignificant as my absence.  I didn’t know what it was to cherish someone, and then when I did, I still couldn’t quite believe that anyone could ever cherish me as much as I did them.  But I realise now that you do, and I could never again cause you the hollow, aching pain that leaving brings.  You are safe with me.  Promise.

Thank-you for the way you were there for me this morning.  I’d not realised I had so many regrets, or even that there was anything like grief in my heart over Mycroft’s loss.  He was a constant.  A constant irritant, more like, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t share some sort of bond, it seems.  

It’s something I don’t quite understand.  Why do I feel this ache sometimes, John?  When he was here, I couldn’t wait to get him out of my sight, but now…  Now sometimes it just hurts, and it won’t stop, and I don’t know how—I don’t know what to do, John, to make it hurt less.  Do you know?

They say time heals all wounds.  I’m not sure that’s true.  You can’t possibly believe that, can you?  You know it’s a load of complete, and utter tosh?  You grieved me for over two years, and even when you made the decision to ‘move on’ your heart was hardly in it.  Two years is a very long time.  It’s been almost three decades since my boyhood dog died, and I still am struck with twinges of loss now and again.  How much more must that be true for a brother?

You asked about the other one, the other brother I mentioned.  He was only a step-brother.  I met him twice.  He was twelve years older than me, and died under mysterious circumstances when I was twenty.  It was all very hush-hush, and I really can’t say more in an email, but the point is, John, that I never knew him.  Mycroft is the first loss of a family member that I have ever had to experience.  I suppose I’m quite fortunate in that, aren’t I?  However do people survive loss, after loss, after loss?  They must be very brave, and very strong.  Like you.  

You’ve lost so much, John, and now you won’t need to lose any more.  I will do everything within my power to keep that from happening, just you wait and see.  I think I’ll write that in my wedding vows…

Interesting that…  I’ve been thinking of all these conversations we’ve been having the last few months—the texts, and letters, and emails.  I’ve been thinking of all the things that you and I have vowed to one another again and again, and I’ve realised something.  We have been marrying one another every single day.  Each declaration to try harder, to listen more carefully, to try to understand, to love unconditionally, to take better care of one another and of ourselves, to share, to surrender, to comfort and keep, every single thing that we have said to one another, has been a vow and a promise.  Every effort has bound us closer together.

You are my husband already.  The wedding is simply a formality at this point.  Well, a formality and a celebration, I suppose.  But you know me, I’ve never had much need for that.  I’ve always preferred it to be just you and me.  This afternoon—that was a celebration.  The other morning at home—that was a celebration too.  Every time you kiss me, hold me, touch me, every time you wake me with a smile, or hold my gaze across the room, or take my hand on our afternoon walk, every time you remind me to eat, or take my medication, make travel arrangements, smooth things over with a client, all those things are a celebration of what we have.  And those are better than any piece of paper, officiated vows, or cake and champagne.

Of course I want to marry you.  For all the convenience of it, for all the legality, for all the formality.  But that is for the world.  That is for other people, John.  I see that now.  That has nothing to do with us.  Because I have you already.  You already wear my ring, and I wear yours.  Everything we have suffered and shared is what has bound us together, and it is a bond that cannot break.  It’s something that transcends laws, or even basic human contract.  It is, I suppose, for lack of a better term, something almost divine.  

You’re probably laughing now.  But you know what I mean.  Not religious, John—divine.  That thing that surpasses the limits and constructs we create for ourselves as human beings,  that thing that is universal, cosmic, beyond what our meagre brains can comprehend.  Because you have taught me that, John.  You have taught me that some things are outside the realms of what the human mind can comprehend.  Some things need to be sensed, felt, intuited.  

And there is something grander, isn’t there?  It feels it sometimes, when we are together, breath and heartbeats synchronised, bodies sharing the same rhythm, minds quieted, blood hot, nerves singing.  It feels almost like dying.  And I’m not afraid, John.  That’s the thing.  I’m not afraid anymore.  Because no matter what happens there is always you…

Perhaps I am a religious man, after all…  Perhaps if I believe in anything now, it’s Love.  If I worship at the altar of a deity, it’s yours.  

When I whisper your name it’s a prayer.  It always has been.  Did you know that?  Whenever I’m in danger, yours is the first word on my lips.  Whenever I’m overwhelmed with joy, you are the first I want to share it with, to thank.  Whenever I am rapt and ecstatic with pleasure, it is you who has wrought it, and it is your name I cry out as I am pulled under by the rush of it.

When you say my name, I am blessed.  When you touch me I am flooded with gratitude and honour.  Nothing brings me more joy than knowing I have pleased you.  Nothing makes me feel more adored than the look I see in your eyes sometimes, the one that lets me know that you cherish and value me above all others.

I have become a mere supplicant at the altar of your love, John, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am slavishly devoted to you.  It is not a burden.  It’s a joy, an honour, and a rare, delicious pleasure.

So yes, I will stand before the government of this land, before the witness of our friends and family, and bind myself to you.  But, I am bound to you already in every word, every caress, every sacrifice, and joy, and sorrow.  I have been bound to you since the moment you stepped into my life all those years ago, and I will be bound to you until the day you step out of it again (hopefully many, many years from now).  You are the best part of my life.  You are, perhaps, the only thing I have ever gotten perfectly right.  

 

I love you wholly, devotedly,

 

Sherlock

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on Sherlock’s bedside table.)

06/11/15 

 

Sherlock,

 

Well, here we are.  I think that everything is pretty much planned for this wedding.  Catering, music (I like that mix you put together), cake, suits, boutonnieres.  Ta for your help.  I’m terrible at thinking of all the little details, you know that.  But, you managed to fill in all the gaps, and I think we’re good.

Filling in all the gaps.  You’re so good at that, did you know?  I do have so many gaps, so many weak places that have always seemed to threaten to get the better of me.  But you fill those now, and I think that the love that’s crept in to reinforce those weak spots, has only made me stronger on the whole.  So thank-you, for that.  Thank-you for being you.  Because you are exactly what I need, exactly what I have always needed.

It’s good to see you feeling better.  I know you still have that pain, and still need the eye drops, but I’m hoping that both of those things will get better with time.  I’m looking forward to our trip into London on Monday.  They’ll test your viral load again, and we’ll see if maybe there isn’t something better we can do for the pain, yeah?  It will get better, you’ll see, and I’ll be here every step of the way.

We should go for lunch at Angelo’s afterwards.  Maybe we could lay some flowers for Mrs. Hudson, and Mycroft, and Gemma.  I haven’t been to see Gemma since I left London.  Does that make me a horrible father, do you think?  I think it does. 

I’ve not really talked to you much about that day, have I.  I just shut off.  I was so angry at Mary, and I could barely process what the doctors were telling me, that my daughter had been born with anencephaly.  There had been so many scans, and it’s true I hadn’t been to all of them, but they should have caught something like that.  They should have seen it, and I still don’t know if they did, and Mary decided to just not tell me and carry to term anyway to keep me tied to her (which is what I accused her of), or whether it really was just an unfortunate oversight.  They said I could see her, and—and I said no.  I said I didn’t want to see her, and now I wish that I had.

I don’t even know what she looked like, Sherlock.  I’ll never know.  And I feel—I feel like a bad father not knowing.  Like I should have wanted to know.  I did.  I did want to know, but I let them take her away without holding her, and that seems unforgivable now…

Sorry, I don’t know where all that came from.  I know I’ve never really talked to you about any of this.  Honestly, I try to mention that life as little as possible, unless you ask.  I know so much of all that was my fault.  I know it hurt you.  I know you tried so hard to give me what you thought I wanted and needed, and I sit back and think about that, and I’m amazed, amazed at how selfless that was, Sherlock.  But, it breaks my heart too, because you never should have had to make those sorts of sacrifices.  

She killed you.  The woman I chose to make my wife actually killed you.  I have a hard time forgiving myself for that.  I never forgave her.

When you went into the hospital the second time, I stayed at the flat, at 221b, almost the entire time.  I couldn’t go back to her, lay in the same bed, breathe the same air.  I needed something familiar, something grounding.  I went to our flat, yours and mine, because it felt like home in ways that the flat I shared with her never did.  I ate off our dishes, I sat in my chair by the fire, and read.  Some nights I sat in yours and watched telly.  I started out sleeping in my old room at the top of the stairs.  Eventually I moved to yours.  Did you know that?  I slept in your bed while you were in the hospital.

Some evenings when I would come back from visiting you at the hospital, I would just wander about the flat, running my hands over things, taking books off the shelves, thumbing through them, putting them back, sorting through the chaos on the desk in the lounge, looking in the pantry at the dust on the cans, running my hands over your clothes in the wardrobe in your room.  I was trying to memorise it all, I guess.  I was terrified of having to leave it all again, and I had a baby on the way.  I couldn’t just abandon her, no matter what I felt about her mother.  I felt more trapped than I ever have in my life.

All I could think about was you.  Lying in that hospital, so diminished, so weak, and how it was essentially my fault that you were there.  I wanted to bring you home, Sherlock, back to our flat, and I wanted to bundle you up, and hold you close, and take care of you, and ensure that no hurt ever came to you, ever again.  

I’ve failed you so many times in that respect, even since then.  And I’m glad that we’re in agreement now, that we do things together, or not at all, that I will always be in the position to keep you safe, because you will always be by my side, not running off ahead, headlong into danger without a thought, and I will always be by yours, choosing you, and only you, as long as we both shall live.

This life we have managed to rebuild seems like a miracle to me.  Every day is just a little sweeter than the day before.  Every second you are standing next to me seems like a blessing.  If everything we’ve been through has taught me anything, it’s to never take a single second for granted.  And I don’t anymore, Sherlock.  Every moment with you is a gift.  

When we are sitting in our new chairs by our new hearth in the evenings, and I look up and see you there, blanket draped over your shoulders, your knees tucked under your chin, and fingers tented in front of your lips, deep in thought, I smile.  Sometimes I even get a little teary, because that’s something that for a long time I never thought I would have again—just you, sitting there, being so delightfully you, and belonging to me.  Mine.  My Sherlock.  

When I wake up to find your beautiful letters waiting for me, or when you text me, and make me laugh while I’m out at the shops getting the groceries, or when your lips are moving against mine, and our bodies are warm, and slotted together so perfectly, all of us, every inch on fire, and when we hold one another close afterwards, and whisper together in the dark, and ease one another back down to earth again, in all those moments I am grateful, and just a little in awe that we have been given so many chances.  And now, finally, we’re not wasting them.  Now, finally we’re really living.

There is so little time left before this wedding, and I’m looking more and more forward to it with every passing day.  I want to make you mine, officially, legally.  I want the world to know it.  I’m tempted to mark you the night before, so that on our wedding day, when we are standing up there in front of all those people, they will see the marks I’ve nipped and sucked into your pale neck, and they will see, they will know, how much you are mine.  I probably won’t…  Maybe…

I’m just overwhelmed by the fact that you want me, that you want to be mine.  You’re breathtaking, you know.  Well, I know you know.  That’s one thing that you can’t pretend at.  I know you’re a little vain, and I wouldn’t have you any other way.  If I had eyes, and lips, and cheekbones, and hair, and hands, and feet, and a body like yours I’d probably never stop looking at myself, either.  Besides, I like when you primp and preen a little, because you always try to pretend that you aren’t, and I know better. 

And your hair!  Your hair is growing back, you know.  I noticed the other morning when I was running my hands through it.  I know you don’t believe me, but if you look close to your scalp you can see a good half centimetre, or so, of growth, and you’ve got weeks, yet, before the wedding (almost seven), so don’t you worry.  It will be just the way you like it by then.  I’d bet money on it.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough, haven’t I.  I’m going to leave this by your bedside, and then go run you a bath.  How’s that sound?  Will you let me wash your hair and back?

 

Yours,

 

John

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left at Sherlock’s spot at the breakfast table.)

10/11/15 

 

Sherlock,

 

You’re going to be alright.  I need you to know that.  I know you’re worried.  I know that yesterday was hard.  I can’t pretend to know all the reasons why.  For all your honesty, sometimes you are still such a closed book to me.  

Yesterday was a lot, yeah?  The doctor, the graveyard, Angelo’s and all that was that old life we shared on Baker Street.  That was hard for me too, you know, seeing only an empty lot where the flats used to be, them building track there, making way for the new train line.  Soon people will be flying past the spot where we used to live, where we first fell in love with one another, all of them just getting on with their morning and evening commute, never knowing.  All that, all that shared life, just like a memory, or a ghost now.  I don’t know if you were feeling that too.  I don’t know…

I just know that you were quiet all the way home on the train.  Too quiet.  I knew that you were crawling inside yourself.  Sometimes I still don’t know what to do when you get like that.  Sometimes I think I should prise you out again.  Sometimes I think I should leave you be.  

Gladstone seems to have a better instinct for it, I’ve noticed.  He sat by the bedroom door for two hours after we got home, and you locked yourself away.  He sat, and cried.  I told him to come away and he wouldn’t.  When his dinner time came and went and he didn’t touch his food, that’s when I knew, and so I let him go in to you, and I came in too, and I hope it was alright.  Because, you were not alright.

Was it right, the way we made a little nest around you, and held you close?  I think it was.  You fell asleep so quickly after we got there, and you hadn’t moved an inch when I woke this morning.

You must be starving.  I’ve made you Pancakes, and tea, and sausage.  And I’m going to leave this by your plate and go and wake you now.  You need to eat.  We’ll see how you’re fairing this morning…

 

Yours,

 

John

 

Chapter Text

 

b

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on Sherlock’s nightstand.)

13/11/15 

 

Sherlock,

 

Thank-you, for last night.  I know you said that there was nothing to apologise for, but I don’t think that’s quite right.  I understand where you are coming from.  And I am so grateful for your patience, and your love.  But, I feel that I do owe you an apology, or at the very least an explanation.

This is going to sound horribly cliche, but in this case I feel it’s true, and it’s important to me that you know this:  What I was struggling with last night, those irrational thoughts and feelings that have been popping up about Gemma’s death (and yeah, I know damn well they’re irrational), are 100% about me, and nothing at all to do with you.  That’s the first thing I need you to know.  

The second, is that as much as they are about me, in the sense that they are in my head, they are causing me to pull away when I should be drawing closer, they are causing me to not be the kind of husband that you deserve, they are not really me.  Does that make sense?  The things haunting me last night, I don’t really think that, deep down.  It’s just so fucking hard to get all those old voices out.  They lie, and lie, and it takes awhile to exorcise all that, I guess.

The last thing I need you to know, is that I love you.  I do.  No reservations.  I love you and I am proud, and honoured, and blessed to be marrying you.  And those are all things I know with 100% certainty.  Sometimes I wonder how I managed to get so lucky, to be honest.  What did I ever do to deserve someone like you?  

And I know you’re going to tell me to stop being ridiculous, and you’d say the same about me, and maybe that’s why we’re so great together.  We both think the other hung the moon while still walking into this with our eyes wide open.  We’ve been through a hell of a lot, and we’re still here.  We’re still together.  We’re stronger now.  We’re better than ever.  And I can’t help but be optimistic about the future, all things considered.  If we’re this good together now, what will we be like when we’re old, and tottering, and grey (I know what your thinking, and don’t; don’t you dare mention my hair at a romantic time like this!).

The ghosts of our past are always going to try and make a reappearance, I suppose.  And usually, as you say, at the most inconvenient of times.  But here’s the thing about ghosts.  They need an audience.  

My mum used to love a good ghost story.  She’d get Harry and I so terrified we’d be shaking in our boots.  But then, she’d always wrap the stories up with a little reminder.  Ghosts feed off fear.  If you look at them, if you give them your full attention, if you let them crawl under your skin and chill you to the bone, then they get stronger, they make a home there.  But if you see them creeping up the corridor toward you, you’re best to just light a lamp, turn your back, and walk away.

You can only be frightened by them, if you focus on them, give them attention, deem them terrifying things, yeah?  So I’ve decided they’re quite ridiculous.   Yes, I will tell you if they’re rattling away at the door handles, and shaking their chains a little too vigorously, I’ll let you know because you’ve asked that I do.  But then, I’d like to take your hand, and turn my back on them, and get on with things.  Because ghosts need feeding to stay strong.  And if you ignore them, if you focus on living instead, they lose their power, they fade away.  And I’d rather slip beneath the sheets and snog you senseless than stand around listening to the echoes of my past.

You’re what I’ve always wanted.  From the minute we met, I knew.  And here I am, and I’ve got everything I ever wanted, everything I’ll ever need.  I’ve got things that most people never get.  I’m the luckiest bloke in the world, I sometimes feel.  So I’m going to focus on that.

You are right.  What happened to Gemma was a horrible mistake of nature.  I still think I should have known, somehow.  I still think I should have seen it.  I didn’t attend all the scans.  I was distracted by looking after you.  But I wouldn’t have been if not for the fact that she’d shot you, and she’d never even have been in my life, never even have been in the position to hurt you, if I’d listened to my heart the night you came back, and just done then, what I knew I wanted to do all along.  

I should have told her it was over the minute you walked back through my door.  I knew before the week was out, and I don’t now what I was doing, why I did what I did.  It wasn’t what I wanted.  It felt outside of my control, like I was just some sort of automaton, strings being pulled, walking helplessly toward my own execution.  But then, there it is, yeah?  That’s what happens when you listen to the ghosts, when you let them in.  So, no more.

You are the best thing to have ever happened to me.  You are the best part of my life.  Sometimes it feels like I wasn’t living until I met you.  So lets do as much living as we possibly can in the years left to us.  Let’s solve crimes, and chase down suspects, and travel, and love, and laugh, and enjoy every damn minute we can.  because I waited half my life to find you, and then I wasted so much of the time we were given.  And now that we’re here, now that some miracle has brought us together for good, I don’t want to waste a single second.

 

Yours, with all my heart,

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on the tea table beside John’s chair.)

14/11/15 

 

John,

 

I love you.  There are so many things I want to say to you this morning, but words seem inadequate, and hard to catch.  

Yesterday—yesterday was…  It was so very…  

You see!  No words.  

I think you may have short-circuited my brain (in the best possible way, of course).  My head is so quiet today, and it is never quiet, and only you can do that to me.  Only you can still my nerves, quiet my mind, sate my body in this way.  The way you touch me, John!  You always seem to know exactly what I need, and even when it is difficult for you, you try for me.  

I meant what I said, yesterday; that if it is something you never want, it’s fine.  And I know it was—anxiety provoking (?), at first.  I’m still not fully sure why, and I trust you’ll tell me if you feel it’s important for me to know, but you seemed to forget your hesitations in the end.  And I felt that you were as touched by what we shared when all was said and done, as I was.  Were you John?

Oh, I’m just fishing for compliments now.  Inexcusable.  You’ve already told me it was the best you’d ever had.  I suppose I just want to know, need to hear, that you feel that thing between us, that thing I can’t explain.  Like your skin is one with mine, your blood flowing through my veins, and mine through yours, hearts beating to a single rhythm; cells, atoms, electrons, all moving in one synchronised dance, until we are some sort of ouroboros of connection—no beginning, no end, simply flowing in, and around, and out of one another.  Do you know what I mean?  Do you feel that when we are together?

I love how your desire, your arousal lives in my body, almost as though it is mine.  I love how the sounds I make as I slip over the brink are the catalyst of your release.  I love how when we kiss, sometimes I lose track of whose lips are whose, and whose tongue is where.  It’s like a part of me slips inside your skin for awhile, and I am part me, part you, and it feels like some sort of rare, and wonderful alchemy.

You needn’t really assure me with words.  Your kisses, and touches, and moans are enough, more than enough, more than I ever thought to have.  I know I’m horribly needy, John.  Shouldn’t I become less the limpet now that you are wholly and fully mine?  I thought it would be easy, that as soon as I knew you were here, and not leaving, that I would be able to go back to how it was before: just you and me lolling about the house, occasionally solving a case if it was particularly engaging, fondly sniping and teasing at one another.  But, it’s not like that at all.  Now that I have you, now that you are here, and not leaving, I don’t want to waste a minute, not a second, John!  I want to be following you about like an overeager puppy.  It’s quite ridiculous.  

I had to force myself to come out here this morning to feed, and walk Gladstone, and write you this little note (missive more like!).  I would have much rather stayed curled up beneath the blankets, watching you sleep, the way your eyes roll beneath your lids, and how your nose occasionally wrinkles when you dream, the steady rise and fall of your chest, how sometimes your cock stirs and grows hard before you wake, and how I want to touch you then, and sometimes I do, and other times I exert what little control I can, so you don’t think that I spend every second of every day aching to touch some part of you.  But the fact is, I do.  My finger tips itch and tingle for the sensation of your skin beneath them.

When I was in the hospital dying, and couldn’t touch you, it was what I imagine hell might be.  To see you there, to hear your voice, but to be separated by so many layers of latex, and plastic, and fabric, and nitrile.  To know that I was going to die never again knowing the touch of your fingers against the back of my neck, or your lips against mine, or even just the brush of your hair against my closed eyelids, the backs of your knuckles ghosting against my hand.  

For years I felt nothing.  Can you understand that, John?  You are, in some ways so earthy, so present and at home in your body (and in other ways not, but that is a discussion for another day, yes?).  I never felt desire, not like that.  There was Victor, that first almost innocent crush, that overwhelming desire to taste, all awakened, I suppose, by a love I imagined was real, but which didn’t ever truly exist.  But then nothing, for years, and years, until you.  

You walked into that lab at Barts and I saw you, and you were perfect, and then that first night— deductions in the cab, dinner—and you thought I was fantastic, amazing, remarkable!  And I fell so hard and so fast for you, John.  So fast it terrified me, and I said, ‘no, married to my work’, but oh how I wanted to say yes, every day afterward, how I’d wished I’d said yes, and how I tried to show you in every word, every interaction since that first.

Oh, I’ve already told you these things in countless letters, months ago, I know.  But, somehow I want you to know all over again.  I need you to know that you lit a fire in me like no one ever had, and now it is burning so brightly, and it demands to be continuously stoked and fed.  It is really quite unruly, John, and that is entirely your fault.  Don’t be like that.  It is.  It is entirely your doing, simply because you are you, and what you are is perfectly delicious.  I was satisfied in my little desert, and then there you were, a taste of cool, clean, precious water, and after I’d had a taste…

Oh John, oh John, I don’t care if you are sleeping, I’m going to come back in to you, and you will just have to read this letter later.  I need to feel the weight of you atop me, and warmth of your breath on my neck, and your fingers woven in my hair, and your legs tangled with mine.  I need to feel your arousal, the way your whole body wakes up next to mine, the way you roll your hips just so, and coax all that pleasure from me.  The way your fingers, stroke, and glide, and penetrate…

Enough.  I’m leaving off with this now.

 

Achingly yours,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on Sherlock’s bedside table.)

15/11/15

 

Sherlock,

 

Good-morning, Love.  You are sleeping so soundly, I can’t bear to wake you.  When you do wake up, look out the window.  Beautiful, isn’t it.  I really hope that the hoar frost hasn’t all melted by the time you’re awake.  I took a couple of pictures on my phone just in case.

I’ll make you breakfast once you’re awake, whatever you like. 

I’d like to start thinking about decorating for Christmas today.  I know it’s early, but we should decorate at least a little this year, as we’ll have guests.  And this cottage is considerably larger than the old flat was, so it might take a little longer. 

Do you know that we haven’t had what I would consider a really decent Christmas together, ever?  When we were living together at Baker St. before everything, there was that whole Adler affair, and then last year—well, the less said about last year, the better.  But this year, we’re here, together, we’re getting married (can you believe it!), and I thought it would be nice to do a few little things, maybe string up some lights inside and out, hang some garland and mistletoe (fake, of course; don’t want poor Gladstone poisoning himself), and in a few more weeks get a tree—a real tree.  Do you know that I have never had a real tree?  We had an artificial one growing up, the same one for years, it was looking pretty tatty by the time I went off to uni.  A real one would make the house smell fantastic, don’t you think?

We could also do some baking, if you like.  Do you like gingerbread?  I know you like mincemeat and treacle tarts.  I’ve never made treacle tarts before, but I can find a recipe and try.  You need some feeding up after all those months of being sick.  Might be nice, yeah?

Listen, I wanted to apologise about yesterday, how I got upset about forgetting about Christmas.  I hope you didn’t think that I was upset that you had remembered when I hadn’t, or upset that you were doing something special.  I love that.  I really do.  I just so want to be everything you need, and deserve, and you deserve so much, Sherlock—so much.  Sometimes I sit around and think about the fact that not may people have told you that, and probably even fewer have showed you that, and I get so angry, and so I think it’s only natural that I get angry at myself, too, when I realise that you’ve done me the honour of letting me into your heart, that I actually have the opportunity to say and do all the things that all those other people never did, and still I don’t.  I drop the ball, so often, and that seems unforgivable to me.

I want to lavish you with attention, and praise, and pleasure.  And I know that you always say that gifts at Christmas are ridiculous (though you seem to have changed your tune a bit), but I think that you are pleased when someone gets you something that really shows thought, that they care enough to really see you, and know you well enough to get you something you will truly enjoy.  So, I was upset when I realised that I had forgotten.  Many times I feel so horribly wrapped up in my own thoughts and feelings, especially lately. 

Last night helped.  You’re so good at knowing exactly what I need.  I’m not sure how you do that.  It’s one of the things that makes your remarkable, wonderful, amazing.  I love the way you touch me.  I want you to know that.  I want you to know that last night you did absolutely everything right.  It was just what I needed, right when I needed it.  I feel lighter this morning, somehow.  So, thank-you.  Thank-you for being you, for using that beautiful mind of yours to reach down, and deduce just exactly what I need.

Well, I’m going to sneak in and leave this by your bed now, and then start to look up some recipes for Christmas biscuits. 

I love you.

 

John

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on the tea table beside John’s chair.)

17/11/15

 

John,

 

You were beautiful this morning, spread out on our bed, the morning light painting you mottled rose gold, your skin abloom in goose flesh, you hair silver against the sheets.  You’re not usually a restless sleeper, so I’m not sure how you got yourself in such a state.  I know I should have covered you, it’s cold in that room come winter mornings, but I needed to look at you, to drink, and drink, and drink you in.  You looked so strong and soft, so perfectly powerful and yet vulnerable in that moment, like an angel, fallen from the heavens and landed in my bed.

In the end I warmed you with my body, crawled atop you, and laid myself down, skin-on-skin, and you woke with a smile then, and told me I was heavy, and just one step away from being a demanding house cat, but you pet my head, and stroked my back, and you smiled, and smiled.

There was a time I wondered if that smile was gone for good, if I had killed it, and would never be blessed with it’s easy presence again.  But something so monumental changed in you after I was sick, and it continues to change, as though day, after day, after day, there is some great burden on your shoulders which is slowly lifting.  Every sweet word, every casual caress, every promise kept seems to snap open another bar of your cage, and you are so open, and at ease, and home with me, now, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Promises and vows are important to you.  I’ve learned that.  And not just promises and vows spoken, but promises and vows kept.  I promised you after I was ill, and lived, that there would be no more leaving.  I think you knew I meant it then, really meant it—together or not at all.  The thought of an eternity of bleak nothingness without you is unbearable.  The thought of making you consciously live several more decades in a similar hell is unthinkable.  I made you live it for two years already.  That was more than enough.  Never again.

And now, in a few short weeks we will be making a new vow.  I suppose that, essentially it is the same vow, but there is a sort of solemnity to making it in front of witnesses and and the governance of the land.  It seems weighty, and important.  I’m pleased to gift you with such a vow.  Know that it is not only words from my lips, or love in my heart, but also the decision of my mind.  It is a choice John, to always be here with you, come what may.

Oh my heart has always been full with you, from the minute we met, almost overwhelmingly so, and I cannot fathom a day ever coming when that would not be the case.  But there are those days, those long days, sometimes, when I have been stuck in one of my moods, and you have been short, and tetchy, and fed up, and those are the days, perhaps, where choice comes into it a little more.  And we will choose one another, again, and again, no matter the time, no matter the place.  I cannot imagine ever not choosing you John.  That’s important to me.  It’s important to me that you know that.

In many ways I think you have spent your life feeling that I have not chosen you, that it was always the work, the pull of adventure, addictions, passions, everything before you.  It was never that way.  I do hope you know that.  But I do see how it appeared that way, felt that way.  I did not do a good job at showing you that you were first. 

And now here we are.  And I do choose you, John.  I’m saying it aloud, and I’ve been trying to show you, too, a little more each day, and in ways that you can recognise and accept.  I feel that finally, finally, you do feel it, do know it.  There is such a ease, a comfortableness in the way you love me, now.  Not boring.  Don’t ever think boring.  Oh John, you’re anything but that!  But comfortable, as though you own me, as though you know your right, your stake and claim to my body, know that I crave you, love you, worship you, and somehow in knowing that, you have found the space and place where you are safe enough to lay yourself bare before me too.

I love your heart.  I love the way it beats beneath my hand, so strong, and steady, but so small and human too.  I love the way you have entrusted it to me.  Don’t think that I don’t know how large a thing that is for you, John.  I see the great sacrifice and privilege that is.  I will honour and cherish it.  I will endeavour to never give you a moments regret that you have decided to entrust yourself to me.

And now I suppose I should come away, and get ready to face the day so that we can go into Eastbourne and hunt down Christmas lights.  I’m telling you, it is too early, John!  We’ll no doubt get all the way there, and not be able to find a thing set out in the shops. 

But perhaps I can at least tempt you to that little sandwich shop for lunch.  I do like their ham and cheese sandwich, and their cream of mushroom soup.  And it is unseasonably cold and miserable outside.  I’ll just pout and flash you my cold raw knuckles, and press my icy nose to your neck, and beg, and you’ll go, with a little roll of your eyes. 

You like to pretend that you’re barely clinging to patience, but I see the twitch of a smile that accompanies the roll of your eyes, and I know that you are fond.

So off we go, then.

 

Always yours,

 

Sherlock

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

(Left on Sherlock’s bedside table.)

20/11/15

 

Good-morning Love,

 

I could not sleep last night!  I just lay there all night in the dark watching you sleep.  If I’m a tad grumpy today, let me apologise in advance.  I can’t handle all-nighters like I used to, I find.  On the plus side I had plenty of time to think about things.  And I thought about me a lot—me in relation to us. I thought about what I was like just last summer, living alone and miserable in that empty flat, trying so hard to convince myself that I could never forgive you, when really I ached to be with you every single moment, of every single day. 

It’s always been like that, you know.  I’ve always longed for you.  From the moment we met it was like this gravitational pull.  I was instantly pulled into your orbit, and I couldn’t resist.  Most times I didn’t even try, truth be told.  It felt so good when I let go.  It felt so good to just let myself fall in love with you, even if I had to live with the ache of thinking it would never be returned.  It was only the times when I let myself think too much that I would start to convince myself that I didn’t really feel what I thought I was feeling, or that it wasn’t a good idea.  My heart knows what it wants, and what it wants is you.

You are also, evidently, what my body wants.  I ache for you, constantly.  Sometimes I feel a little ridiculous, like a man my age shouldn’t be feeling something like this so strongly, and so much of the time.  Understand that it is an extension of the fondness, the respect, the deep love I have for you.  I think you know that, but I just want to make doubly sure, because I know that’s important to you.

I wasn’t lying, or even exaggerating, Sherlock, when I said that the other night was different, the best I’d ever had.  It was special.  I wasn’t lying when I said I felt something let go.  It does feel different between us now, at least to me.  And I mean that in the best possible way. 

Not that it wasn’t absolutely fantastic before.  Even before, Sherlock, you’re still the best I’ve ever had, the best of everything I’ve ever had: the best companion, the best friend, the best husband, the best lover.  I know we have our little misunderstandings, and stuff, but we work on them. 

I know I have you to thank for that, for putting the effort in, and leading the way in the beginning.  You demonstrated such a commitment to make this work, and I need you to know that that went a long way toward dismantling all the fears I had of you changing your mind, or leaving again, or us just not working for whatever reason.  I could see, from the minute I got your very first letter, that you were committed to this.  And when you have messed up, you’ve worked hard to make that right, and when I’ve messed up (pretty horribly a few times), you’ve been more patient than I deserve.

I’m learning to be a better man because of how you love me.  I’m learning how to do this relationship thing, to do it right, because of your willingness and determination to communicate, and most of all to stay. 

I run away, Sherlock.  That’s what I’ve always done.  You say I’m the bravest man you’ve ever known, but when it comes to relationships, to love, I’ve always been a coward.  I run rather than stay and face the difficult things.  I’ve always just thought that if it feels momentous, or scary, or difficult and challenging, in any way, then it must not be right, must not be the right relationship for me.  Maybe that’s a little bit the way I grew up.  Scary feelings often times equalled real physical danger, and I think that sometimes things get all muddied and muddled up in my head. 

But, you’ve taught me something different.  Things can feel scary, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should run.  Sometimes you stay, and you face it, and god forbid, you even talk about it.  Sometimes staying and facing difficult things head-on, addressing them, just chases those ghosts away.  When love is present, they just dissipate in the warmth and commitment of that.  And that is definitely something I’ve never had in any other relationship.  That is unique to you and me, and I know that I owe you all the thanks for that, because you were the one determined that we do that in the beginning, and I’ve learned from you, and here we are.

So, that being said, I’m going to talk a little about what I was mentioning yesterday, about wanting to share with you what you shared with me the other night.  I do want to.  I’m just putting that right out there.  I do want you inside me at some point.  I want to feel what it’s like to be connected to you in that way.  Being connected to you was…  I didn’t expect it to be that different from all the other things we’ve done and shared. 

I’m not one of those people who feels like there’s a progressive list of things you share with someone in bed, and some are bigger and better than others.  I still don’t.  I think you should do what feels the best between you in the moment, and I think that can be different for different people.  Christ, everything I do with you feels good!  I know I’ve been hesitant to try some stuff, but I think it was more because I was thinking about it in the wrong way, and once we found the version of it that worked for us, I loved it. 

So, I need you to know that I’m not coming to this feeling that if I don’t do this, if I don’t receive this from you then I’m somehow missing out on the pinnacle of sexual experience we might share.  I think you know that already, but I just want to be sure.  Everything we’ve shared has felt like the pinnacle, in the moment.  Taking you into my mouth last night felt just as great as being inside you.  I love everything we do, but I need to try this again—for myself.

This is really hard for me to talk about.  I don’t want to hurt you.  I don’t want to sound like a right arse.  But, I do need to be honest with you. I think you would want me to.  And I know that you would definitely want to know what is going on in my heart and mind before we attempt to try this again.  That’s just being well prepared.  If you had hang-ups, I would want to know.  I would want to know so I could watch for any small sign you were having a hard time, and could back off and keep you safe.

So, much as I hold that I don’t see anything anyone does in bed as the ‘pinnacle sexual experience’, I’ve still got associations tied to certain things, I think.  No, I know I do. 

I think I’ve talked a little to you what it was like growing up in my house, yeah?  My dad was ex-military, incredibly opinionated, thought Thatcher was an angel sent down from heaven to save the nation from a bleak state of financial and moral ruin.  You get the picture. 

When my sister came out it was bad, you know that.  When I say she had to leave home, I mean she really did need to leave home.  It wasn’t a good situation for her.  It wasn’t a safe situation for her.  And that whole thing seemed to sort of set my dad off. 

I mean I’m sure he always had opinions about that sort of thing.  He would make off hand comments and jokes, but so did most of the blokes in our neighbourhood.  You know how it is…  But after my dad caught Harry in bed with her girlfriend, and all but kicked her out of the house, he just got a lot more vocal about his thoughts on the matter, and he used to remind me, pretty vehemently, and with some frequency (especially that first year), what he would do to me if he ever caught me in such a situation.  As you can imagine there was a lot of colourful and descriptive language involved.

I was a kid, just sixteen.  I hadn’t even had a romantic relationship, yet—nothing official anyway.  And then he started questioning me on that, why I hadn’t, and interrogating me on my relationship with my best friend (who I really had been in love with, but didn’t quite realise), and it caused me so much stress, you know.  I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells.  I just hated that time, and when I think back to it, I immediately get this tight, sick feeling in my stomach, and sometimes I even feel a little of that old panic. 

It taught me early to hide, to push all that down.  It fucked me up, pretty badly, I think.  And I’ve not really ever tried to talk to you about just how much, because it felt awful, and I didn’t want to hurt you, and I didn’t want to tell you some of the things my dad used to say, because they don’t deserve to be repeated, ever.  But the truth is, they went in, they got under my skin.  They made me fear myself, and feel bad about myself for a really, really long time.  And I still hear his voice in my head sometimes, and I hate that.  I hate it so much.  I hate him so much! 

Sorry… 

I didn’t really mean to get that worked up about this…

Anyway, that was kind of the set-up to what I wanted to say next. 

That night in Acton, when everything went wrong…  We’d been talking about this, talking about my dad.  I tried to explain all this to you, but I was sort of out of my mind that night, and I’m not sure how clearly I said it all.  I think you just saw me coming apart at the seams and wanted to make it better.  I love you for that.  I love that you loved me that much, even then, when I was being a right arse, when I was shouting at you, and when—when I was taking my anger at things that had nothing to do with you, out on you.  That wasn’t fair, and I want you to call me on that when I do it, okay.  I don’t want you to just sit there and take it.  But I do recognise where your heart was at that night, and the fact that you loved me so much, even then, even when I was at my worst, is really precious to me. 

But—well, i’m getting off track here.  I’m sorry.  I’m trying.  This is really hard, and I should probably be telling you all this face-to-face, but I’m not sure I have the strength or the courage to, so it will just have to be like this.

So, that night.  We had been talking about my dad, and Harry, and I think it just stirred up a lot of stuff I don’t normally even allow myself to think about for even a few seconds.  The deep stuff, you know, the stuff you usually push down as far as you can and do everything within your power to not think about.   But it’s still there, isn’t it.  It’s still there and it still effects things, even when you don’t want it to.  Talking about my dad, stirred that up. 

It was simmering right at the surface, and then we went to the bedroom, and I pushed you down on the bed and I kissed you like I was drowning, and I ripped your clothes off, and I just wanted to feel your skin, and your breath, and your heart beating beneath mine.  I wanted to erase the sick feeling in my belly, and the anxiety and panic prickling over my skin, and wanted to tear my dad and every horrible thing he ever said to me out of my heart and mind forever.  I wanted you to just fuck it out of me, Sherlock.  I wanted it, and then you were there, and you were so gentle, and soft, and careful, and I looked into your eyes, and saw how worried you were, and how much you wanted to take care of me, and everything just got muddled. 

You were there, hovering over me, fingers barely pressing, so gentle, so attentive, and god, I was just so tense, and so closed to you, wasn’t I.  I just straight up panicked.  I wanted it, and then I didn’t.  All I could hear in my head was my dad’s voice, and all the horrible things he’d ever said to me, and I looked up and I saw your face so full of love, and worry, and I just felt—unclean.  Not because of anything you were doing to me, Sherlock, okay.  Not because of that, but because you were so tender, and concerned, and overflowing with that great love you have, and I didn’t feel right, somehow.  I felt like I was that thing my dad was always talking about, and you were this beautiful, wonderful man, and you deserved so much more…

And that’s when I sort of freaked out on you.  And even then you were there, and you sat back and gave me space, and just waited for me.  I saw the hurt in your eyes afterwards, you know.  I knew I’d hurt you, and I hated myself even more.  But then you took me to bed anyway, and you gentled me into this perfect release, it was so…  I still get overwhelmed by how you were with me when I first came back into your life all those months ago, Sherlock.  You were so good to me, and I know it isn’t a scale that requires balancing, but I do hope that I have been able to return the favour these last few months.  I hope you feel my gratitude, my deep, profound commitment to us, and love of you.  God, tell me you do.  You deserve so much!

But that is why I want to try again, now.  The other night, it just sort of happened between us, and it was so slow, and hot, and perfect, and it wasn’t that thing my dad was always throwing out there as a sick denigrating joke, or a perverted example of everything he thought he knew and hated about ‘people like your bloody sister’.  It was fantastic, and you were so beautiful, and I loved being so close to you, like that.  I’ve had penetrative sex before, obviously, but never like that, never with that kind of depth of emotion and connection.  And all I can think about night and day since is how much I want try the reverse, to feel what it’s like to have you in me like that.  You’ve always been careful with my body and my heart, you’ve always loved the fear and the hurt out of me, somehow, and I think I understand that night in Acton better now, and I know I want to try again.

I think you’re right about easing into it.  I’m not sure what will happen in the moment.  Easing into it feels right to me.  I really want to avoid hurting you again.  I know you are patient, and understanding, but I never want to see the look I saw in your eyes, that night in Acton, ever again.  I don’t want you to ever, for one minute, feel like the way you love me is wrong, or that I’m repulsed by you, or afraid of what we share together.  None of those things are even close to being true, Sherlock, but they can feel true when I react in certain ways.  I know that.  I don’t want that.  So yeah, lets go slow. 

I hope this made sense to you.  I hope I’ve not hurt you at all.  God, that’s the last thing I want.  I’ve put off talking about this for a long time, because I really did fear that.  I feared I would say it all wrong, and hurt you.  And I don’t like even voicing the stuff about my dad, because it was awful, and it’s stuff I’d rather leave in the past.  I feel like talking about it gives him and his sick attitudes a voice, and he doesn’t deserve to be heard. 

But I needed you to know this, and I hope it helps understand things a little better.  I hope it helps you to see that that night in Acton was never about you, or anything you did or didn’t do.  It was about me, about ghosts from my past, and about stuff I needed to try to put to bed once and for all.  And maybe, I’m realising, it doesn’t quite work that way.  Maybe there isn’t this moment where you slam the door and those ghosts never get out again.  Maybe it’s just about doing your best every day to steal the power they have over you, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this letter.  One more step in the right direction.  An explanation, and a little heads up.

I love you so much, you know.  You are the best thing that has ever happened to me in the whole of my life.  The only regret I have is that we didn’t somehow meet earlier, get our collective act together sooner.  I regret living so many years without you, because my life now is so much better than I ever could have imagined, and that is all down to you.

I love you—endlessly,

 

John

Chapter Text