A oneshot that popped into my head last night, and I had to write it down. I would imagine the idea has probably already been done in some way before, but it's my take on how the tube carriage scene could possibly have gone. Follows The Empty Hearse episode up to a point. For those who are following my first fanfic, I promise that will be updated very soon.

Reviews are lovely, as always. Hope you enjoy!

"Oh my God!"

John started pacing angrily, terrified, not wanting to think about the implications of Sherlock's outburst. "I can't." But he could, couldn't he? There was nothing that his friend couldn't do. That was the amazing thing about him. He would save them, he absolutely would save them.

He could hear Sherlock scrabbling away at the bomb, muttering to himself, and a seed of hope planted itself in Dr Watson's brain. He was still trying. There must have been something tucked away in his Mind Palace, something that he could try. John thought briefly of Mary: wonderful, supportive Mary. Beautiful woman, who had saved him from the sadness his life had become when this idiot of a friend of his had faked his death. Mary had rescued him, loved him, brought him back to a semblance of normality. He had begun to enjoy life again. He had wanted to propose to her - god, he'd still not got round to that after that dick had ruined their romantic meal. Why was he here, again? Why had he followed him down into his darkened world, why had he jumped at the chance of another adventure so soon after nearly being torched to death by god knows who...

He slowly turned back to face his friend, just as Sherlock lifted his face up to meet him, panic and sorrow etched across his features. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

John stared at him, then rolled his neck, exasperated. Screwed his eyes tightly shut. This wasn't happening, was it? "What?"

"I can't... I can't do it, John," Sherlock continued, his face whiter than ever, if such a thing was possible. It was almost definitely the first time John had ever seen Sherlock look scared, unless he counted that time on the roof... he had been too far away to make out, but John had heard the nerves in his voice. But then, that was put on, maybe. So... could this be too?

His hope was shattered with Sherlock's next utterance. "I don't know how."

John stared at him in horror as Sherlock shifted his position slightly. He was aware of Sherlock saying something else, and shook his head. "What?" he breathed, not really wanting to hear anything else that his friend had to say now, unless it was "Oh! Wait a minute, I *do* know how to diffuse a massive bomb. I was only teasing".

But no, it wasn't that. "Please, John. Forgive me, for all the hurt that I caused you."

No. This wasn't happening. Sherlock never apologised, never asked for forgiveness. "No no no no no. This is a trick-"


"Another one of your bloody tricks!"


"You're just trying to make me say something nice."

Sherlock smiled sadly at that, and John gasped as he replied "Not this time."

He was clutching at straws now. "It's just to make you look good even though you've behaved like a..." It finally dawned on him. An acceptance, in a way, that this was actually happening. He knew there wouldn't be much time left; last time he'd checked, the clock was on about a minute and a half, and that must have been a good 30 seconds previous. And he knew he had to do this, for both of them.

Sherlock shifted into a seated position, and John stared at him, allowing all his feelings from that day, that day, to come forth. Forgetting Mary for now, he focussed on Sherlock, on how heartbroken he had been, how terrified he'd felt knowing that he'd never be able to see, speak or listen to his wise, infuriating, beautiful friend ever again. He remembered how broken he was for days, weeks, months after that event. Feelings he'd buried deep suddenly surfaced, feelings he still wasn't completely sure about. Feelings that had confused him but feelings that he knew would be no good visiting now that his friend was dead. And what was the point now, either, when they were both going to die?

Exhaling sharply, John glared at Sherlock. "I wanted you to not be dead!"

"Yes, well, be careful what you wish for," Sherlock replied, bitterly. John snorted, despite everything.

"If I hadn't come back, you wouldn't be standing there," Sherlock continued, and John noted just how guilty Sherlock looked, how much sorrow and sadness was evident in his face. John felt a pang of sympathy for his friend, and found himself wanting to hug him.

"You'd still have a future... with Mary-"

"Yeah, I know!" John snapped, not sure why. Sherlock had brought Mary back to the front of his mind, and John felt chastised, as if Sherlock somehow knew that she wasn't his main concern, that she wasn't the person on his mind in his final moments.

But Sherlock wasn't looking accusing. He looked absolutely devastated. And he was waiting, John could tell, for some sort of forgiveness from him. John breathed in sharply and moved away slightly, trying to collect his thoughts. That bomb must be going off soon...

"Look, I find it difficult, I find this sort of stuff difficult, all right?" he said breathlessly. Sherlock nodded, not looking at him, staring at the floor as John noticed, to his horror, a tear falling. Sherlock never cried.

Then he did look up at him. "I know". And suddenly, as he stared into John's eyes, everything made sense.

John took a step towards him, his eyes still locked on Sherlock's. There was an added tension in the carriage, and the bomb was almost forgotten as he felt lost in the sharp blue-grey tones of Sherlock's irises. He had to tell him. What did he have to lose?

"Sherlock..." he breathed, inching closer to him again. "You were the best and wisest man I've ever known. Of course I forgive you. I know why you did... what you did. And I forgive you for this too," he said, breaking the gaze to motion around them, point at the bomb under the floor, though refusing to look at it properly, this object that would damn them both. "Because... I love you, Sherlock."

Sherlock looked momentarily stunned. "You... You love me."

"What's the harm in telling you now? Of course I love you. I refused to examine how I felt when you... when you left, when I realised then that my feelings for you were... different to what I had thought... and then when you came back, I had Mary! I was happy! It was different, but I was content and everything was calm. So much calmer than with you. But now... now that this... I can tell you, because what does it matter? We're going to die, she'll never know any different... Sherlock, I really do love you. I'm sorry, I'm probably going to make you feel uncomfortable as hell in your dying moments, but I love you, and that's... that" he finished uncomfortably, realising how garbled his impromptu speech had probably sounded, as Sherlock continued to stare at him. The look in his eye had changed, from one of desperation, guilt and sorrow, to one of burning intensity.

"Sherl... I'm sorry if I've... hang on, shouldn't the..."

Sherlock moved quicker than John even thought possible - and he'd seen him chase after criminals at breakneck speed - and suddenly John felt himself pressed up against the carriage door, hands all over him, soft lips pressing at his, kissing him urgently and hurriedly. All thoughts melted away as John returned the kisses, wrapping his arms around his friend before letting them rise slowly until they reached Sherlock's dark curls, plunging his hands into his friend's hair and gripping tight. He'd practically forgotten about their impending doom as he let himself get lost in the moment.


"John," Sherlock whispered, resting his forehead against John's and staring at him intently. "There's an off switch."

A stare. Then John pushed him away. Took one stride towards the bomb. Stared at the bright red numbers flickering between 1.28 and 1.29. Then stared back at Sherlock.

"You... cock," he growled, as Sherlock's face erupted into a huge grin.

"Oh my god," breathed Sherlock.

"I am actually going to kill you, you know that?"