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Road Map

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Sherlock hesitated briefly before dragging the blade across his skin, leaving, only for a split second, a hollow line before it was filled with blood.

 

He felt a flash of emotion that was a mix of things, some that he couldn't decipher, but recognized that there was relief as well as guilt somewhere in there, mixed up with all the other ones he didn't know how to name.

He watched it for a minute more, just watching.

The blood slowed and pooled in the corners as well as in the gap the cut had made. It wasn't deep this time. That was good. He'd made mistakes before, cut too deep, ones that he were sure required stitches which he didn't seek out. He couldn't.

He was always more careful after those ones, the scars they left never fading enough for his liking, providing the harsh reminder that even the great Sherlock Holmes wasn't infallible.

He could have laughed about that. He was doing this, wasn't he? That should have been evidence enough.

 

Evidence. Evidence that he found but couldn't decipher. Entirely his fault his fault hisfaulthisfault-

He shook his head, like he could shake the thoughts free that were tormenting him, tip his head and let them fall out his ear to examine on the floor. Instead he focused on the blood for one last look before he cleaned and covered it. That sometimes helped, but not this time. It wasn't enough.

He picked up the blade off the floor where he had left it, not even noticing, after he'd made the first cut.

Only one more, he told himself. And that's all.

But there was never any telling if that would hold true.

The blade hovered over his skin for a second and he decided where to cut, finally settling on right next to the previous one. Easier to hide that way.

He pulled it across his skin, tugging only slightly as it ripped through his flesh.

It was his flesh, but it didn't feel like it. Not now, not when he was doing this. He often wished he could feel the same way when he was shot, stabbed, or broken, but this seemed to be the only time it worked. This one was slightly deeper than the last, the blood welling up before dripping off his arm and onto the floor. He would have to clean that up.

He waited patiently for it to stop before he washed it out in the sink and stuck a bandage on it.

Again cursing his choice of colour in washcloths, Sherlock scrubbed at the floor. He needed to invest in some darker coloured ones, he noted as he stared at the light grey one. He hoped the blood would wash out in the sink or John would start noticing the dwindling numbers.

Thankfully, it did well enough, and Sherlock surveyed the bathroom one last time before stepping out and scurrying off to his bedroom.

He was tired.

He slept.