Author: SeverEstHolmes PM
Magpies, Mycroft, Moriarty and - John! Less superficial things are getting under the skin of Sherlock Holmes, not all of them are savoury... Johnlock, Slash, drug references; rated T at the moment, but will be increased to M later.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Sherlock H. & John W. - Chapters: 24 - Words: 58,918 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 36 - Updated: 08-04-12 - Published: 06-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8190728
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Soooo - my computer with Word software on it has gone defunct! So I've had to send it away for repair, so apologies for taking a bit longer to update! I'm concerned that John and Sherlock may be straying OOC, but some of thee situations we have absolutely no idea what they would do anyway! Also- the ages I mention are the results of my own calculations, if you think I'm incorrect then substitue whatever ages you think John/Sherlock are! :) Thanks so much for all the lovely reviews! I'm so thankful that some people are enjoying reading this (I hope) as much as I'm liking writing it!
John was more than a little relieved that Sherlock returned to bed after only having been awake for an hour and a half. John agreed with him that rest was the best way for his body to recuperate now, and it seemed that the peak period of withdrawal was now, mercifully, over. John let Sherlock retire before he did, turning off the tv and listening for Sherlock's footsteps upon the stairs and the closing of his bedroom door. Once he was certain that Sherlock was in his bed, he checked the electrical appliances and climbed the stairs himself, yawning all the way. He was exhausted; he was more than a little thankful that Sherlock was feeling better, because he had been beginning to bend under fatigue... It reminded him very plainly, that since he had come out of the army, his body and mind had changed hugely – while he was in the army he would have thought nothing of staying awake for two or three days if his services as a doctor were needed... now he became tired much quicker, maybe he was just getting old. He certainly felt old as he climbed into bed; and for a few seconds his mind flicked back to Sherlock and the memory or event that Sherlock was hiding from the rest of the world... But he didn't have long to mull it over – almost as soon as his head touched the pillow, John fell into an instant, dark sleep.
Sherlock lay on top of his bed for a while just staring up at the ceiling. The conglomeration of the past day and a bit had been condensed into painful flashes, the majority of which he couldn't translate into any coherent time line. He remembered pain, crushing and overwhelming; he remembered feeling so hot and cold both at the same time; he remembered throwing up and being so miserable that he would have rather died than had to continue the way he was feeling; and then the next thing he remembered was waking up in the bath... and John had been there the entire time making sure that he was alright. He closed his eyes and exhaled heavily, it wasn't often that he wanted sleep, but at this moment he needed sleep as he felt so weak.
His sleep was not entirely as restful as he would wish... He tossed and turned as he kept getting flashes of withdrawal. At around quarter past six he woke with a start and found himself with one arm and leg dangling off the side of his bed; he hauled himself upright and lay for a moment, feeling his muscles twitching with a renewal of energy. After lying for a few minutes moving restless position to position, he decided to get up – he had been in this room for far too long in the past couple of days. Situating himself along the sofa in the middle of the living room he tried to focus his mind on a problem that would distract his mind sufficiently enough from boredom but still allow his body to relax. He ended up thinking about how carefully John had looked after him while he had been unable to even say his own name; why had John felt the need to sit beside his bedside? Watching and checking to see if he was breathing or not. Why on earth would anyone voluntarily keep themselves awake to do that? Sherlock couldn't comprehend how that would be productive for anyone to do – and what John would have gained from doing so... Logically he wouldn't have gained anything at all, apart from the knowledge that Sherlock was safe.
Sherlock sat bolt upright on the sofa, his eyes wide open , staring straight out of the window directly in front of him with a view of early London as the city just began to wake up, but he felt like a hand had just turned on a switch inside his brain. John had sat up all night watching Sherlock just to know that Sherlock was safe... Sherlock gave his head a slight shake, could that possibly be why – well John had said he was Sherlock's friend, even after having yelled at him about the drugs. Sherlock lay back down, his mind still fixedly focussed on John.
John: who hadn't pressed him for details about why he had started drugs. John: who had looked after him better than Mycroft had ever done. John: who still cared after Sherlock had treated him abysmally, after Sherlock had never given him a moments thought while he was shooting up to please himself.
As Sherlock closed his eyes again he was instantly transported back to when he was sixteen years old, curled up in a heap on the floor of Mycroft's bedroom in his halls of residence; skeletally thin and shivering as the absence of the substance he had grown so accustomed to depending on. Mycroft had refused to give him any help until Sherlock explained his reasons for taking cocaine; but Sherlock's stubborn nature had clashed with that of Mycroft's. The thought of telling Mycroft the reason made his skin crawl, he had always tried to repress those feelings, those memories, everything... he wasn't keen on re-opening those gates to that time, not when he was convinced that he had boxed it away in a compartment of his brain that he would avoid at all costs. That was how it had started, when he was nine years old, that was when he had discovered the ability to entrap feelings, memories, emotions; secure them as easily as he could padlock a box and storing it in the dustiest, most decrepit part of his brain so as to never ever go near them again. However lying on the sofa as a twenty-eight year old, he couldn't even close his eyes without having flashbacks to being younger. His mind writhed in protest at those old boxes rattling by themselves and making so much noise that they could not be ignored anymore... Sherlock pressed the heel of his hands into the grooves of his eye sockets, feeling himself frowning at the same time; block it out, block it out, lock it all up again. John had asked about it; John had wanted to know the reason why he had started the cocaine, and he had told him that he couldn't tell him... It wasn't that he couldn't tell him, it was that he didn't want to uncover and unlock those boxes. He didn't want to bring those memories back to life, didn't want to give them the potential to alter the way he lived his life in a manner beyond his control. John had asked, John had been the catalyst for those boxes inside his mind beginning to react.
Why was that? Was his well trained mind finally beginning to rebel against him? Was his secret so desperate to be shared with someone else that it would bring about the ruin of his intellect – through whatever way it could – the end of cases; the failure of experiments; the rush of the drugs?
'That is weakness affecting you.' Sherlock scolded himself mentally, 'You must not let the facts be marred by unwanted variables, that would produce a less than desirable outcome... I mustnot let sentiment take over me.' He could hear his own breathing, heavy, through his inner voice shouting inside his head. Then he realised that he was breathing loudly and mentally shouting at himself because he was trying to drown out the little voice in the back of his head, which was saying: 'Telling John wouldn't be giving in to sentiment, it wouldn't be marring the facts either... It would be divulging the reason, therefore diminishing its power and grip over you alone...'
He always liked for his mind to be active, to be mulling over some problem, deciphering out some tiny detail; but it being in turmoil over his own life was not something that he found particularly pleasant.
"Are you hungry?" John placed his hand upon Sherlock's wrist, it had been stretched across his face the inside pointing to the ceiling, blocking out any light from reaching his eyes. Sherlock came to with a start, he had been semi dozing until he felt the warm touch of John's fingers grasping his wrist for a second. He moved his arm from his face, eyes screwed up because of the influx of new light pouring in through his pupils. John was fully dressed and already moving back to the kitchen as Sherlock sat up. "Sorry, I don't know if you were sleeping... I'm making toast." Sherlock swung his feet round so he was in a sitting position, his feet equally spaced on the floor. He could see John bustling about in the kitchen and hear the kettle beginning to boil, and a moment later John emerged into the room with a slice of toast on a sheet of kitchen roll. "Here you go." John handed him the toast and returned to fill up two teacups and bring them through; he sat down with a heavy sigh and took a bite of the toast and jam that he had for himself. Sherlock looked down at the slice of toast he was holding in his hand and for some reason felt immensely overwhelmed by everything around him... By the daylight streaming through the window, by John sat in his armchair, by the slice of toast and cup of tea that had been made for him... "Are you alright Sherlock?" John asked through a mouthful of toast, Sherlock looked up at him and their eyes locked for a second – they held each other's gaze for the briefest of moments until John broke it and looked away uncomfortably.
"Yeah... Yeah, I'm fine." He replied, once his brain had registered John's question. "Just, still waking up, you know?"
"Yeah – well, eat your toast and that might stop your hands from shaking so much." John told him; so Sherlock obliged, he was certainly not in the mood to argue. John seemed to be pointedly not looking at Sherlock while he finished the rest of his toast. Sherlock got the distinct impression that John was embarrassed for some unclear reason. Maybe it was something he had said, or something he had done unwittingly? Or maybe it was just John feeling overly conscious about the way he had looked after Sherlock during withdrawal... he did seem to get slightly bashful about things like that – it was nice! That was one of the things that Sherlock liked about John, he really liked. Despite Sherlock's antithesis being sentimental emotion, he had never – not even for a second – doubted that John's heart was his greatest asset. He hadn't specifically told John that, more just hoped that the fact would bleed through his very being and be absorbed and acknowledged by his friend. "So you're feeling better now?" John asked, once he had finished his piece of toast and was crumpling up the sheet of kitchen roll in one hand.
"Yeah, a lot better, thanks." Sherlock took a bite of the toast he had been given, and felt even more uneasy when John still didn't seem to be able to look at him.
"Good." John said, nodding and standing up from his armchair. "I'm going to do some shopping, is there anything you want?" Sherlock shook his head, attempting to catch John's eyes as he headed towards the door, but it was in vain. "Okay, I'll be back in a little while."
Sherlock leant back into the sofa as he listened to John descending down the stairs and leaving the flat. Something was definitely out of place; normally Sherlock's brain was so well attuned and perceptive that he was able to pick up and identify why a person was acting in a peculiar way. However his mind had been dulled through withdrawal, it hadn't yet recovered it's sharpness, and John had always given Sherlock problems in his ability to completely read a person. He was never inept, he had observed and deduced an awful lot about John in the time that they had been living together... but John was complex, much more complex than the ordinary person. Sherlock did not doubt that his time in the army had left John with bountiful layers of personality that he had wrapped around himself, one after the other. His centre, his core was right in the middle, but like a soft sweet he had become encased in too many films of cellophane. Each layer had to be peeled off with tender care to get anywhere near the innermost soft centre, but Sherlock had never been able to penetrate that deep – he doubted that anyone ever had been since John had returned from Afghanistan. In a way he doubted whether anyone would ever be able to get the doctor to reveal himself completely; the final layers of protection would be too sticky, too tightly held that it would take a very important person to strip them away. But that layering and encasing posed a challenge to Sherlock, but also stood as a reminder to him. Sherlock had piled layer upon layer over himself, perfecting the procedure until no one could get through the top layers... Sherlock thought of John as a sweet with too many wrappers, but that wasn't himself. He was like a prisoner in a cage of cast iron bars, with layers of brick and steel and titanium confining him within. No amount of heat, or water, or anything would be able to get through to the prisoner inside.
So maybe he was reading John's actions wrong, maybe he was completely incorrect. Perhaps it was him that was acting oddly – not John. He couldn't figure that out. He sat in the complete silence of the flat, staring at the space right in front of himself and feeling painfully aware that the gears inside his head were turning very slowly and meticulously.
When had John spoken to Mycroft? He had mentioned that last night when he had asked about the reasons... but Sherlock couldn't remember having seen Mycroft since that day that he had hallucinated about Moriarty and the Magpies. If Mycroft came to visit while he had been unconscious, then there might just be a chance that Mycroft would know the reason for John's odd behaviour...
'You visited John at some point recently, what did he say to you? -SH.'
Sherlock disliked messaging his brother about this, it would only make his brother more smug and pompous that he was having to ask him for advice.
'He said a great deal, mainly about wanting to call an ambulance for you. Why? I take it that you are over your withdrawal now? - MH.'
No help at all, and there it was – the self righteous checking up of his elder brother.
'Yes, perfectly back to my usual self. John has been acting rather peculiarly since I regained consciousness, I've been trying to figure out what the reason for it might be. - SH.'
Sherlock wondered whether Mycroft had told Mummy about his latest relapse: good god he hoped not... The wrath of his mother would be terrifying to face if Mycroft had told her.
'Acting oddly? Well – you did talk in your sleep quite a bit, he told me so. -MH.'
Sherlock frowned at the message; John had mentioned the day before the peak of withdrawal that he had been talking in his sleep, but how could that be the cause for John's odd behaviour since?
'Talking in my sleep? What did I say? Did he tell you? -SH..'
Sherlock's heart rate had increased inside his chest, he slightly dreaded the answer that was going to come from Mycroft as he suddenly had a vague idea about what and whom he might have been speaking about.
'Yes. I believe you were re-enacting our altercation about your relationship with Irene Adler, and other people. - MH.'
It was just as Sherlock had feared, that conversation between himself and Mycroft had become a heated one. He had divulged more than he had wished while he was attempting to get Mycroft to leave him alone; he had revealed his true feelings. He placed his phone down on the sofa beside him and ran his fingers over his face and through his hair, exhaling heavily. He closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, then picked up his phone once more.
'How much of that conversation? -SH.'
There was hardly the space of an intake of breath until Mycroft's response:
'All of it. -MH.'