|Heroes don't exist, but people do
Author: Shinichi06 PM
There were fictional heroes, the heroes in history and the heroes of war.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sherlock H. & John W. - Words: 1,021 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 11 - Published: 11-14-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7550579
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
FF - Sherlock
Heroes don't exist (but people do)
Warnings: Angst and sadness. (But hey, a happy ending!)
Characters: (Dr) John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Summary: Heroes don't exist, but people do.
A/N : I'm that kind of person who revels in taking one tiny bit of canon remark, and running with it. And yes, I also think John is the kind of kid who adores Batman. I'll probably write more about that in future.
He was ten when he received his first comic book. Some kid had misplaced his, left it on Harry's table in school, and Harry, not having the slightest interest in Batman, gave it to John.
John loved it. Batman, The Dark Knight, the world's detective of them all, John loved it like the soldier figurines that sat neatly in the toy box. Batman was valiant and believed in justice, and like all young boys, John wanted to grow up to be a hero like him.
He had treated the book like a dear treasure, like a close friend. He would turn the pages slowly with care, reading it only indoors for fear of damaging it, and he would lock himself in the storeroom with it when Harry gave him a bad day.
He was twelve when he got into one of the greatest fights with her, and Harry tore the book apart, right down the middle and into two. He had been inconsolable for days afterwards.
History was one of John's electives when he was in high school. Modern-world history, to be specific. They studied World War II extensively, and the mass murder and genocides terrified him, but at the same time he was awed. Astounded by the resilience of humanity.
There were the heroes like Charles de Gaulle who never gave up, who continued fighting for his love of his country. There was Sophie Scholl of Germany and die Weiße Rose, who saw the truth among the propaganda that was fed to them and had the courage to stand up for what they believed in. There was their own Winston Churchill, who led the allies with ferocity, and pushed their armies onward, screaming for them to never give up.
"Keep calm and carry on," the government had said. And endure, the British did.
It amazed him to know the depth of humanity.
He joined the army after graduation from medical school. He would admit that it wasn't out of patriotism or anything like that, but rather the fact that he hadn't quite anywhere to go, and of course, joining the war did seem like the most viable option then.
(He would blame it on his youth later, but he knows that he wouldn't ever regret his service.)
He met Sam there, the cocky, playful sniper who died trying to give John cover. There was noble Will, who lost an arm from the blast of a shell when he was trying to evacuate an Afghan village, and became permanently paralyzed waist down. There was stoic Ben, who crossed into no man's land when he heard the pained murmurs of a dying Afghan soldier, only to be shot on sight.
It pained John deeply, as though those scars were his and those deaths the loss of his soul. They were young men, with so much potential for the world, gone without so much time for a moment's thought. What hurt most was how they would die with a smile on their faces, and Will still grins at him when he visits him, and they always said to never forget and to keep believing.
John knows they did what they trusted in, and no matter how unfair it had seemed, they were heroes, nonetheless, so he believes too.
"Heroes don't exist, John, and even if they did, I wouldn't be one of them."
John thinks those words were cold and wrong, and he wants to refute that. He wants to shout at Sherlock, tell him that no, heroes did exist, that he was mistaken and that men during wars did not die for naught.
But he's tired and weighted down by hurt, so he turns around and walks away from it.
Harry sends him some of his old belongings after 'The Pool Incident'. Amongst them was a box that he had labeled years ago "Memories of a hero." He sees it and he wants to scoff, laugh at the hilarity and the sadness of it all, but he can't bear to, and he doesn't know why.
He's had his heart broken enough, and he keeps the box of batman comics and history essays alongside the letters from Will, and hides them all under the bed, willing the hurt away.
He doesn't notice Sherlock watching him surreptitiously.
It had been one of those mornings where they lounged quietly by the window, one of those days where the criminals of London were far too inactive for Sherlock's liking. He had taken to browsing a thick biology tome while John ate his breakfast across the table, occasionally sparing the morning papers a glance or two.
By his second cup of tea, John was much more awake than he had been before, and realised then that Sherlock had remained on the same page for more than an hour now.
He prods Sherlock gently, asking him what was wrong. John gives him the time and silence he knows Sherlock needs before answering a question that implied that he was having problems.
It was ten minutes before Sherlock pulls his eyes away from the pale, yellowed paper and reaching over to grasp John's hand tightly, whispering slowly and with much hesitant that he knows that there were things he did not understand, but that he wants John to know that he will always try his best.
John doesn't think that Sherlock had ever shown such a vulnerable side of himself to anyone else, so he pats him in assurance, smiling and responding that it's all fine, because in that moment, he understands.