Wow! Ok, so this is the last part of three chapters - I hope you enjoyed this fic everyone. I was very pleased by the amount of interest that this fic got, and considering it's popularity I think people like my interpretation of the characters. I'm happy that I met to so many peoples' standards! :D
I'm looking to write a prequel to this based on Arthur Conan Doyle's 'A Scandal in Bohemia', which is the story when Sherlock met Irene Adler. It will be tied into this fic because later I'm going to write a sequel to this where she'll reappear. I've always been very interested in their relationship, but I maintain that whilst she will be in it my main priority is the connection between Watson and Holmes, as well as Lestrade. If you would be interested to read those then keep an eye out, or leave in your review that you would like me to tell you when they'll be coming out.
Thank you for all of your support and I hope you enjoy this slightly more mushy chapter. :P
Warnings – A little language, bad grammar, bla.
Disclaimer – I do not own any of these characters, and am simply using them for story telling purposes. Seriously. :P
The clock struck twelve as Watson shifted, blinking open his weary eyes as a stiff pain shot through him, making him give a stifled groan and sit a little straighter, grinding his teeth. He'd dozed off.
Looking around uncomfortably he was greeted with the eerie sight of Yorik watching him with his usual empty expression for the table –
'Well of course it's an empty expression – he's a skull!'
-John grumbled internally, before glanced over his other shoulder to behold the sight of Holmes who had slumped and was leaning against him, mouth parted and slack jawed in sleep. The earlier events of the evening suddenly jumped to the front of his memory and he blinked, startled. God, that had to have been the most peculiar evening he'd ever had. A sudden recollection of Holmes' words floated the top of his subconscious and he smiled faintly, still a little confused, but warmed by the man's words. Looking back over toward the Detective he noted that he was still in a deep sleep. Wow - The man really looked tired. Watson prodded him hard in the shoulder so that he grunted, twitching into semi-consciousness.
"Hey, go to bed to sleep." John instructed, remaining silent about the fact he was equally as hypocritical.
Sherlock opened his eyes wearily and looked across to him, pupils beady from beneath his lowered lids. "Go away."
"No – come on, you're not sleeping here. You're going to bed."
Holmes looked defiantly away and Watson stood with a hiss, moving his hand quickly to help the man up. Sherlock flinched away from the other's outstretched fingers.
"Not good?" He whispered again and John raised his eyebrows.
"Why do you always say that?"
"People categorize actions in 'Good' and 'Bad'. Good is rewarded, bad is punished. As I am above all your ridiculous ideals I cannot always predict the unintentional repercussions my daily actions might have."
"That doesn't explain why you assumed me putting my hand out would mean I was angry." Watson's mouth drew into a thin line, and Holmes looked away, suddenly awkward. John's brow lowered. "What, did you think I was about to hit you? I'm helping you to your feet, for God's sake."
"Oh." Sherlock glanced to the fingers with the highest suspicion before allowing himself to be pulled painfully to his feet. "What time is it?"
"Somewhere near the bewitching hour."
"What?" Sherlock blinked, glancing to the clock, "No it isn't – bewitching hour's at three – get your facts straight John."
"God, I meant 'it's late' Sherlock, I couldn't give a damn when the bewitching hour is. And if you could see the clock then why did you have to ask?"
"Looking requires effort."
"And asking doesn't?"
"Knowing that someone else has to put in an effort cancels out my own." Holmes replied promptly before sauntering across the room, pausing only once. "Wait, something's not right…What is it?"
"Uh…Hitler's view on brunettes?" Watson suggested sarcastically, "I've really no idea."
"No, that's not it's…why…Why is there a giant periodic table strapped to the curtains?"
"You put it there whilst experimenting."
"Oh I see – Can't think why though, I know it off by heart…But yes, fine…In which case I have only one question for you John, before I go to bed."
"…" Sherlock looked back around to him, "Why was I sleeping sitting on the floor?" His expression was that of genuine confusion and Watson gave a soft chuckle.
"Read the first line of this book." He threw the novel to Holmes who caught it, perplexed, and read out the first sentence with superb clarity and diction. "That's your answer then."
"I beg your pardon?"
"See, when I asked you to do that earlier, you couldn't."
"I…" Sherlock's expression twisted into an innocent face of confusion, as it often did when he could not comprehend something – something which was normally blindingly obvious. "…What?" He blinked.
"You were sleep-walking, and talking I might add…And deducing – but that goes without saying with you." Watson explained and Sherlock stared to him dumbly for a moment before his mouth dropped with what could only be described as horror.
"Lestrade was here…I remember."
"Oh God." Holmes whispered, "What did I tell you?"
His expression was so filled with desperation that John felt his stomach drop at the mere sight of the emotion. "Not much."
"Really – hardly anything, you just sort of-"
"-Sort of what!"
"-Talked, and um…Well, really you didn't say much-"
"-What did I say!"
"I said something!"
"It wasn't…Really, you – I mean, come on-" John scoffed, but drew back as he saw Sherlock approach, his temper clearly rising.
"Goddamn you - What. Did. I. Say?" He whispered fiercely, glaring down to the Doctor who stared back up, taken aback, but fearless. The Soldier drew in a deep breath and locked eyes with his flat mate.
"You spoke about your brother, you spoke about why you became a detective, you spoke about Irene Adler. You deduced Anderson's wife had left him from a leaking perfume bottle in his pocket – all with your eyes closed, I might add, and you nearly put hydrochloric acid in the kettle. All in all you gabbled about things that I couldn't even begin to understand, and the only incriminating thing that passed from your lips was a confession that you had taken a scalpel to the skull once as a child. Alright?"
Sherlock stared to him with surprise, before quietly whispering, "So I didn't…say anything about…Drugs, or-"
"-No." John said shortly. "You didn't. You didn't say anything other than what was on the loose surface of your thoughts."
"And you questioned me?"
"We…Questioned you, yes."
"You would have done the same." John said, a little defensively.
"That's an excuse, not a reason. Why?" Sherlock pushed.
"Because…I wanted to know."
"Again – why?"
John breathed a sigh, rubbing his eyes gently. "You know everything about me – you read it, you see it, you – you deduce it for God's sake! You have no sense of boundary at all-"
"-That's not true, I give you your space-"
John spluttered a laugh, "My- My space! Ok, so you haven't invaded my room, but…But you don't have to. Sherlock you see things about people, things that…often, people don't want you to know and…And it's extraordinary. It really is just amazing but…Also, slightly unfair."
"Unfair, why is it unfair? It's obvious to anyone who looks, it's completely obvious-"
"-No it isn't. It's obvious to you and…And to your brother and…It's not to us. And it comes with all sorts of problems, I can see that but…I just wanted to read you as easily as you read me." Watson finished and Sherlock was still for a long moment, before giving a slow nod.
"Alright…I see your reasoning." He said eventually and John frowned.
"I…Don't think you do."
"You're right, I don't – Why! Why would you need to question me like that in that state? You could have asked me when I was awake." Sherlock hissed.
"Do you ask people before you deduce things about them?" Watson raised an eyebrow.
"No, but that's different-"
"No it isn't." John said coolly. "Now either you can accept that, or I can leave right now."
Sherlock blinked in shock at this exclamation. "Leave? What do you mean leave? You can't leave."
"Yes I can."
Holmes edged away with distress, his usually cool misdemeanour replaced with a pensive and awkward one instead. Turning away he grabbed his violin and putting it hastily on his shoulder began to scrape his bow across it, so that it sang out a tuneless set of notes one after the other, each urgent, quacking and confused so that it was little surprise when, with a violent twist, Sherlock turned back to him, arms hanging thrown down at his side, violin clung loosely in hand, and expression tormented with confusion. "What did I tell you?" he repeated, "You specifically. I must have said something…something which…changed you."
"I wouldn't say that."
"What did I say?" Holmes directed the question at himself, and he was almost shaking as he fell back slowly onto the sofa, putting his hands up through his hair and tugging at it in irritation. "What did I confess?"
Watson narrowed his eyes, brow lowering in slight worry as he approached steadily, his hand slightly outstretched. "Sherlock, Sherlock it's alright-"
Holmes snapped his head up with a snarl, "Go away!" He hissed venomously, and Watson would have been stung if it weren't for the fact that he was close enough to see the fresh sheen of perspiration present on Sherlock's pale face. Paler than normal in-fact – he looked almost sickly apart from those two rose coloured blooms high on his cheeks. John's stomach plummeted and he immediately touched a hand to the other's forehead.
"Jesus, you're burning." He whispered urgently.
"Get off me."
"No." Watson knelt down, his eyes darting across the others face as he looked for other signs of illness which might help him decipher the nature of the man's ailment. Sherlock's previous anger turned in curiosity and he watched John with intrigue as the other worked.
"How extraordinary." He noted, "The way you work…You're almost a detective for sickness. What a wonderful thought."
"Hah." Watson snorted, touching both hands to Holmes' boiling neck to check for swelling. There was none. "Have you got a soar throat?"
"Any pain what so ever?"
"Can you even feel pain?" Watson gave the other a dubious smile and Sherlock returned it.
"That's a very debatable question."
"Hm." Watson touched another hand to the man's forehead, the heat raging beneath his palm so that he could not deny its presence. "Well this explain the sleep-walking, you're restless. Have you had a lot on your mind?"
"You could say." Holmes replied quietly and Watson smiled.
"You must have exhausted yourself." John stood, his expression swept with concern as his eyes lingered over the sudden child like image of Holmes staring up to him. "Are you sure you're not in pain – it's important."
"I wouldn't lie to you."
"Yes you would."
Sherlock smiled, "Alright, granted…But not as often as you would have thought. And I certainly wouldn't lie about this. I'm obsessed, crazed perhaps…but not masochistic enough to deny anything now – that would be stupid."
"That assures me so much, thank you." Grumbled Watson sarcastically. "Go to bed, I'll bring you an icepack."
"I'll be fine without."
"Oh, really – and what was that you just said about not being masochistic…?"
"I said masochistic enough." Sherlock grinned, before wincing slightly with a yawn.
"You've got a temperature - I want to make sure it doesn't escalate. Go to bed, I'll be through in a moment and check up on you. I should've seen it sooner. It was stupid of me not to."
Sherlock nodded his head, but did not move, his eyes staring to the ground quietly as John stood going toward where his medical bag was still propped up in his chair. Guilt was beginning to eat through him and after a moment he sighed. "You told me that…That I was the best choice you had ever made." He stated and sensed, rather then saw Sherlock look up.
"Yes…I wasn't sure what it meant." Watson admitted, turning back to the other who gave another solemn nod, deep in thought. "Sherlock?"
"What did you mean?"
For a moment the man hesitated, and Watson was struck again by how young he suddenly looked, young and somewhat lost. It was a new look for Sherlock, and John knew it was because when it came to emotional issues Holmes ran as if it were the plague. Slowly the man caught his eye and with a deep breath explained. "I…I was glad that I asked you to come with me that day for the Suicide case. Having you here…with me…I'm beginning to wonder how I could have lived without you. I saw it when you went away – everything was so…dull."
"And I'm not dull?"
"Not in the slightest." Sherlock said without hesitation, pausing, "I think…I would get a little lost without you."
"Oh." Was all John was able to say, because in that instant he saw a set of rare fleeting emotion within Sherlock's eyes which one never saw from beneath the surface of Holmes' cold facade – compassion and gratitude. In that moment all of the hell he went through paid off, just to see how much Sherlock actually cared, even if it was only a flicker within his eyes – it was more than enough. John straightened, "It's the same you know. I don't think I could go back to life without you now."
Sherlock chuckled, "Meaning I've contaminated you?"
"You could say."
Both laughed at that and Holmes got to his feet, wondering toward his room. "In that case, I suppose that I'm not too put out…If that's what I told you, I guess you had a right to know."
Sherlock looked back around to him with a vague expression of surprise, and smiled, a little dazed, "You are most welcome."
And with that he padded silently back toward his room and left Watson stood, medical bag in hand and smile on his face as the words of Lestrade suddenly floated to the top of his head.
"Because Sherlock Holmes is a great man and I think that one day, if we're very lucky, he might even be a good one."
Perhaps that day hadn't come yet, but they were thawing ever closer to it, closer through the ice of Sherlock shield, to the man within it. John doubted Sherlock would ever be an open character – it was not in his nature, but perhaps the Doctor had just seen the first glimmers of a day to come. A day when Sherlock Holmes would be looked upon as a hero, not some sort of lunatic.
For all the pain it might bring and the annoyances which it might through, John vowed that he would wait and work at Holmes bit by bit until that day came. And when it did he could proudly say that he had known all along that Sherlock was a good, abate slightly mad, man and worthy of great, great things.
Thank you everybody again for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave me a review with any pointers or notes, or to tell me you might be interested in reading the prequel/sequel. Thanks again and I hope to read through some of your works as well – in-fact, I look forward to it!
:D Ja for now.