Only few stars cut through the thick clouds above London but these ones pierced the night sky like nothing else. It was a warm summer night, but still it was raining cats and dogs. A real summer thunderstorm, if ever there was one. London had quit its usual rustle and bustle for the night, or at least slowed down a little bit.
Water was dripping from the window sills at Bakerstreet, the blinds were closed, and not a single streak of light was to be seen.
All was quiet. Or was it?
Although it did not seem like it from the outside, the inhabitants of 221B Bakerstreet weren’t asleep.
Or at least one of them wasn’t.
Sherlock Holmes was awake, at these hours even. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for Sherlock to be up this late, but the reason why he was, had never been the same before.
He just couldn’t stand it anymore. He couldn’t.
John was asleep upstairs, he wouldn’t notice a thing.
Sherlock couldn’t bare his feelings for the blonde man anymore. It was all too much. Several years now, he had been trying to cope with them. Cope with his seemingly unrequited love for his best friend. He needed to get away from this. He needed to get away from here. He needed to get away from John?
It was all too much for him. His feelings flooding him like a river a dried out arroyo, everywhere was water, he couldn’t contain. Tonight was the first time he really thought about his feelings. Didn’t try to shove them out of the way, thought about the different possibilities on how this might end.
Why did he even try, he couldn’t concentrate anyway. There was only a single word on his usually so bustling mind, when everything else was silent. John.
His John. The man who taught him how to love. The man who showed him, he was human, too.
Nothing had been the same, after he had gotten back from Serbia. John hadn’t been the same. He was broken, shattered to a thousand pieces and so was Sherlock. But at the moment, all of these little pieces didn’t really fit together yet. Many awkward moments happened, moments that shouldn’t have happened at all.
Sometimes it was on Sherlock’s mind. Sometimes he imagined having said those three words on the rooftop. He wanted to, he really would but he was so scared - oh so scared. So scared he might lose John forever, but even at his last opportunity, he refrained.
He didn’t want to leave such a strange aftertaste for John – Sherlock was sure, that, by all means, his love wasn’t requited. John wasn’t gay. He said it over and over again himself.
Sherlock was drunk this evening although he hadn’t drunk any alcohol at all. He was just sitting in his armchair, the crackling fire by his side, staring into John’s empty one.
He couldn’t stand this anymore. It had been love at first sight for him. He wanted to pour his heart out to John. Make him love him. Say that he loves him. Say that he’s so sorry for everything he’s done.
But he couldn’t. He just... couldn’t
He needed to leave. Leave this place, leave John. Oh god, he hated himself for thinking this. How could he be so egoistic and think this at all? Well, maybe it still was the best for him to do, He wasn’t even sure if John wanted Sherlock with him anymore.
Leaving was the easiest way to get rid of the problem. Running.
Mycroft would be able to hide him for a few days, by the time he would’ve found a new flat, ore John would’ve left 221B by then. Still, Sherlock didn’t know if he wanted to return to 221B without John by his side.
Maybe it was stupid. Maybe it was cowardice. He didn’t know any better, did he? He wasn’t used to all these feelings flooding his body and mind. The physical crave to have your beloved one near you. The way your stomach clenches when you think about their eyes crinkling with a smile, as bright as the sun.
This was it. This was the way Sherlock felt and he couldn’t bare it anymore without telling John. He would never tell John, for the fear of losing his only friend forever and always, so he was running.
Sherlock got up from his armchair and looked around one more time. Leaving was hard, but staying was harder.
He left the fireplace lit, since he didn’t want John to wake up to a cold 221B, put his coat on and wanted to leave.
He would’ve left without making a single noise, if it wasn’t for this damned scarf. As Sherlock wanted to grab it from the coatrack and put it on, it caught. If Sherlock hadn’t been beside himself that much, he probably would’ve been able to catch it, and leave still without making any further noise.
But he was drunk. Drunk on love.
With a frantic move, he wanted to free the scarf but it only made matters worse, as the falling coatrack changed direction and knocked over Mrs Hudson’s favourite vase.
Silence for a fraction of a second. Then movements, from upstairs.
Shit. He hadn’t even pulled on his shoes yet.
He had to get going, so he left the scarf and shoes and hastened down the stairs, nearly tripping over his own feet, but managing to make it to the door without falling over.
“Sherlock?” That was John’s voice. John’s lovely, sleepy voice. He didn’t answer, instead he stepped out of the door and slammed it behind him. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea, after all, as he stepped out into the pouring rain. It wasn’t cold rain, at least.
He was just about to have crossed the street, walking towards his cab (Sherlock had the ability to get a cab whenever and wherever he wanted, he didn’t even know why exactly this was the case himself) when the door burst open again and he got to a halt, in the middle of the street, not turning.
There was another moment of silence, until he heard John’s voice again, confused, maybe a little bit angry, concerned? “Where the HELL do you think you’re going? It’s 4 a.m. Sherlock, you’re coming back to me in an instant.”
Oh god, did he just pull the Captain Watson voice out of nowhere?
Sherlock turned on the spot, sadness spreading across his face. “No, I won’t John”, he said, trying to stop his voice from shaking.
John slowly approached him, waiting for an explanation, waiting, but not demanding.
“Don’t you understand John, I have to leave.”
“No, I don’t understand! Bloody hell Sherlock, what could be so important to make you leave in the pouring rain at 4 in the morning?”
“John please don’t shout I wanted to leave because-“, Sherlock was trying to come up with any, ANY lie he could bring himself to force out of his mouth. But he couldn’t.
“Explain yourself. Now.” John was getting a bit grumpy, and who could blame him. He didn’t even have a coat after all, he was standing there, barefoot in the rain.
And this was the moment Sherlock snapped. It was too much now.
John, standing in the pouring rain for him, because he didn’t want Sherlock to leave. Was probably even concerned for him?
John, standing there in the pouring rain, his shirt sticking to him like a second coat of skin, still caring for Sherlock, after everything he had done to him?
“Because I am in love with you.”
The words were there before Sherlock could stop them. No. No. He hadn’t just confessed – yes, yes he had.
But John’s expressing wasn’t changing to anger, to fear, to revulsion. Was that a smile, that beautiful, blinding smile, spreading across his lips? It seemed to be.
“And you couldn’t just have told me that inside, with a nice cuppa, beside the fire?”
Sherlock’s jaw was shaking a bit at the moment. He couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t be true or could it? Had John just – did he maybe even requite Sherlock’s feelings? He couldn’t believe it quite yet, but he was soon made to believe.
John slightly shook his head, his smile growing wider. “Oh come here you git.” And the following movement didn’t really get collected by Sherlock’s brain.
John reached up to him, pulled him down tenderly at his nape and kissed him, like his lips were air and he was drowning.
There they stood, finally united, kissing. Barefoot in the rain, still neither of them cared.