And is it worth the wait
All this killing time?
Are you strong enough to stand
Protecting both your heart and mine?

Florence and the Machine, Heavy in your Arms


Sherlock did not like this emotional state, despised it even, yet he was experiencing it right now. It was coursing through his veins, making his heart beat faster and clouding his brain.

He had called John on his mobile phone more than once, but he had got no reply. Sherlock realised that John would most likely not want to talk to him at the moment, but that did not put his heart at ease. His blogger could be in danger. He had fled the flat in a vulnerable state, his injuries making him look like easy prey to anyone who might want to rob him, rape him, kill him.

Sherlock shuddered at the thought. John had protected him, not hesitating to pull the trigger and taking a man's life, after knowing the one and only consulting detective for no more than a day. However, now John's body could be dumped in a dark alley, because not only Sherlock could not keep him safe but he had actually harmed him instead.

It was no use thinking like that. He had to find John, and in order to do that he needed his brain to be functioning properly. He slapped himself hard on the cheek, partly making himself focus and partly punishing himself for what he had done to the person who mattered to him most in the whole entire world.

Time to use his logic.

John would not have found shelter in Mrs. Hudson's flat. Sherlock could easily get there as he had direct access, and if John considered him as dangerous he would not want to put their sweet landlady in harm's way.

Mycroft was of course out of the question. There was no trust between the two men. Sherlock hoped that that the ex army doctor had not believed that the British Government (among other things) could stop his brother.

The only option was Lestrade. He and John were friendly, and the DI had the authority to arrest the detective. Nevertheless, neither the DI nor anyone else from the Scotland Yard had burst into the flat, caging his hands in cuffs and informing him of his rights (and he was aware of the fact that there were many who would volunteer to do it or at least be present). Hadn't John contacted Lestrade after that terrible, abusive treatment?

Sherlock was lost. He had to find John, but his blogger had left no trail behind him for Sherlock to follow. He could not ask for the help of either Lestrade or Mycroft, because that would rouse suspicions and draw unwanted attention.

He had to find John and explain to him what had happened, but how could he do that when he had no clue to show him the way?

He grabbed his phone, deciding to send a text message. Surely John's curiosity would eat him up to breaking point and he would read the text sooner or later.

Of course there was the chance of John deleting the text without even looking at a word of it. He might even change his number so that Sherlock would not be able to reach him. He might leave town. Or even the country.

Sherlock bit his lip hard. It was no use thinking like that. John was curious. He had followed Sherlock to a crime scene, barely knowing the consulting detective but excited to see more blood and more death. He would definitely spare a glance at the text message at some point.

Sherlock looked at the screen of his mobile phone as if he was willing it to compose the ideal message on its own. How could he explain, how could he pour his emotions in one text? How could he make John understand in such a short amount of words?

He had no idea how long he had been like that in the living room of the flat, standing perfectly still and his eyes focused on the phone in his hand. Although he knew what he wanted to say, no words came to him. His mind was blank. His greatest asset had abandoned him.

In the end, he found something:

Saying that I'm sorry is not nearly enough. But give me a chance to explain. Please. -SH

The moment he sent it he realised that he did not like it. But he could not think of anything else. He had divorced himself from emotions a long time ago. He did not know how to act in circumstances that required sentiment. Cold reason and observation were what he knew, what he did. And John had changed that, turning his whole world upside down.

He hoped that the word 'please' would do the trick. Sherlock Holmes was not a man to beg.

Sherlock did not leave the flat at all. He did not even get off his chair, apart from the times that he needed to drink some water or pay a visit to the bathroom. He knew that he shouldn't be hoping that John would open the door of their flat at any moment now, but he could not move from there. What if John showed up, willing to give Sherlock one last chance, and Sherlock was gone? No, he could not take that risk.

He kept replaying the previous night in his mind again and again and again. The memory was haunting, painful. He hadn't experienced pain that was other than physical in a very long time. He did not like it, but he could not stop it. John had made him feel again, and turning himself into a machine all over would not be easy at all. He did not want to lose what he had with John, what he felt for John, even though it hurt. It was a pain that he was willing to embrace.

When he heard the sound of a key penetrating the lock, he almost did not believe his ears. His eyes snapped open, focusing on the door as his heart started beating a little faster. He was excited, yet he was also something close to afraid.

The door opened slowly, revealing the form of John Watson. One side of his face was swollen and almost purple, and yet he still inspired respect and authority. One of the things that made John so attractive to Sherlock was his military posture and behaviour, the strength and power that he hid behind his cute jumpers.

However, now was not the time for Sherlock's military kink to kick in. John looked like a soldier coming back from war defeated. He was bitter, sorrowful, disappointed, but also angry. Sherlock could see it all in his face.

He wanted to weep, he wanted to comfort John and apologise a thousand times and more. But he did not dare to make a move. "John," he said, his voice breaking. He cleared his throat and tried speaking again. "Please, sit."

John looked at him hard, his blue eyes boring into Sherlock's skull, seeing through him. Sherlock managed not to flinch or wince under John's gaze. He actually managed to keep eye contact as if nothing was wrong, as if it were so easy. Inside he was screaming, his emotions tearing him apart.

In the end, John took his seat in his own armchair, still staring at Sherlock. The latter preserved his composure, his pride and arrogance making him want to look strong and not cower before the man sitting across from him. He cleared his throat again, deciding that he should speak first.

"It wasn't my fault," he said.

John chuckled. It was a sarcastic and bitter sound, one that reflected the look on his face. Sherlock wanted to slap himself again. How could he have sounded so dumb? He sighed at his own stupidity and made one more effort.

"I did drugs, John. I'm sorry, I really am. I hadn't turned to cocaine for quite a while, but I could not resist. I...I was lonely. When you left. I'm not blaming you of course, but this is the truth. I promised to explain, and this is the truth. I'm sorry."

At that moment he realised that in a short amount of time he had apologised to John more times than he had apologised in all his life. He looked at his blogger, trying to deduce how he felt. John's face was kinder now, although there was still quite an edge to it. He was not so mad at Sherlock anymore, but he could not forgive him yet either.

"Sherlock, what are you saying?"

"I..." He hesitated. He was going to open his chest and rip his heart out, extending it to John and letting him see it. Complete honesty. "I used to do drugs. Cocaine. Only in order to stimulate my brain. Feeling of euphoria, absolute focus; no need to slow down, to eat, to sleep...I stopped, thanks to Mycroft. Cocaine or work - I had to choose between the two, you see...Anyway, when you left, I was...lonely. I needed to forget, to concentrate on the Work only. I needed drugs. But I knew that Mycroft had his eyes everywhere, so I found someone new. It turned out that this source was unreliable. The cocaine - if that's what it really was, after all - changed me. I was rude; too rude even for my standards. And then you came back, and I got all jealous...and the drug made me aggressive..."

He could not look at John. He was certain that if he did, he would break under that dark blue gaze. He had carved his heart out for John, letting him examine it and decide whether he believed him or not.

" this true?"

Sherlock bit his lip, still not looking up. "I have no cocaine left to examine and I can't bear to tell Mycroft about the new dealer and have to deal with him about my little vice again. You can ask Mrs. Hudson or Lestrade - I think both of them will tell you that I was not being myself. There's no way to prove it to you, but I would never hurt you, John."

"I know," John whispered.

Sherlock looked up, not believing his ears at all this time. "What?" he asked, hoping that he had not misheard.

"I know. You've even killed for me, for god's sake! That's why it was so bad for me - because I thought that you would never hurt me. Not you, Sherlock. Not you."

"John, I'm sorry. I really, really am. I won't touch you again. Ever. I promise. I will be your friend if you will have me. But I won't touch you. Just don't leave."

His vision was blurry and he knew that the only reason for that could be unshed tears. John looked as though he were trying not to cry.

"If you stick true to that promise, Sherlock," he said softly, "then I will have to go. I can't be just your friend anymore. I can't have another relationship - all of them are going to be so boring after the excitement that characterised our relationship. Don't make that promise, Sherlock, unless you really mean it."

Sherlock blinked, unable to say anything for a while. After what had happened the previous night, he expected John to not be able to tolerate even a brief pat on the shoulder. He could live without touching John. He could not live without sharing the flat with John, without seeing John every day, without having a cup of tea with John every morning.

"I don't mean it," he said.

The corners of John's lips pulled up in a small smile. "Good," he said. "Then you can make another promise: no drugs again."

Sherlock smirked. "No drugs," he promised. With John there, resisting drugs was more than easy.

"Come here, you idiot."

'Idiot' sounded like an endearment when John addressed it to him. It was something that John could call him as many times as he wanted; Sherlock loved it. He stood up and walked to John. He did not bother looking seductive. He was no longer a predator approaching his prey; they were equals now. He settled in John's lap, their arms immediately wrapping around each other's body. John captured Sherlock's lips in a loving kiss, slow but definitely not chaste.

"Wait a minute," Sherlock said after they had broken the kiss. "Where did you go after leaving here?"

"Over to Harry's. She's been telling me to pay a visit or go for drinks with her for quite some time. I thought it was the safest solution. I told her that the two of us were on a case, and our suspect was rather violent to us; we both had to go live somewhere else for a while so that he would not find us, and I went to her."

Sherlock smiled. "You are brilliant," he said, swelling with pride.

"Did you ever have a doubt?" John teased him.

"No," he said seriously. Right there, in John's arms, his lips locked with John's, Sherlock Holmes finally felt that he was at home again. And he would never let anyone harm his John, especially that Moriarty whoever he might be.

THE END (and oh don't I love the irony in the end)

Too cheesy, I know, I'm sorry. Don't hate me xxx