1. He had cried as an infant and as a tiny child, but that didn't count. All infants cried. Once he gotten to a certain age, however, he no longer allowed himself to cry, especially not in front of anyone. Mycroft didn't cry. His father didn't cry, so why should he? The circumstances had to be very precise and significant to aggravate his emotional state in such a way. However, Sherlock had cried five times in his life, which no one would ever know about.
The first time, he was eight years old. His short curls were bouncing across his forehead as he dashed home from school. His rhododendron experiment had been festering in his closet all day, and he longed to see if the butyric acid had changed the budding plant's odor. His mother had been complaining of the smell all week, but she was unable to find the source.
He slowed his sprinting down to a casual pace when he heard strangled cries and laughter coming from the other side of a fence. Sherlock pressed his face against the fence, trying to catch a glimpse of the activity through a small hole. There were four boys, all a little older than him, and a small, old cat. Sherlock watched in horror as one of the boys grabbed the limping cat by its tail and took a cigarette lighter to its ear.
Sherlock had leapt over the fence in two seconds flat, his book bag abandoned on the sidewalk. Before the four preteens noticed his presence, he slapped the lighter out of the boy's hand. The boy made an awkward noise of surprise, but was quickly silenced by Sherlock's fist slamming into his nose. The other three scrambled to their feet, taking aggressive stances against their intruder. Sherlock took down the first two with four or five quick jabs and punches each, but the third grabbed a stick and struck his head with it. Sherlock fell to the ground, dazed, as the boys ran off toward an alley.
Sherlock eventually sat up, noting the trickle of blood at his temple. He turned to the emaciated gray cat, which was laying down, having given up its struggle. From the look of her, the cat had feline AIDS, or leukemia. She was dangerously thin, which was abnormal to see in a street cat, as they always had ways of hunting food. Her illness had weakened her, and she was unable to pursue any of her normal prey. She had some chunks of hair missing, either from another cat or the four troublemakers that had been torturing her. She lay there on her side, her cool blue eyes staring right at Sherlock's gray ones.
With the gentleness of a surgeon, Sherlock picked up the cat and held her to his chest. He smuggled her into his house and bedroom, sidestepping any other persons who were home at the time.
He gave her the name Devon.
She was dead the next morning.
Sherlock stared at her still, hardening body and wished that he could have found her sooner. He carefully wrapped her in a silk pillowcase and placed her tiny body in a shoebox. He carried her to the park and carefully dug a small grave amongst the flower beds.
His task completed, Sherlock kneeled in front of the packed dirt. It didn't make sense to him that an animal he had only found the day before could make him feel so badly about its death. He thought of the cruelty of the four boys, and of the disease that had taken Devon's strength from her. Cool tears slipped down to his chin and he swiped at them, betrayed. He didn't like attachment, no matter to whom, or to what. It was far too painful.
2. When it happened again, he was sixteen. He worked as a kennel technician at a veterinary hospital, just so that he would have access to the cadavers for autopsy.
And for the ketamine that he sometimes slipped into his pocket on his way out.
One Thursday afternoon, he stole into the attic of the main building on his school campus and popped open a small door which led onto the roof. Sherlock slumped against a metal air vent jutting out of the roof and opened his small intravenous ketamine kit. He sucked in a gasp of air as he injected the drug into his arm. He allowed the anesthetic to pull him under just slightly. Strange hushed sounds began to swirl around him, while bright, unnatural colors overtook the normal color scheme of the roof.
He looked around, paranoid that someone had found him. No one was there.
"Get up, go over to the ledge."
"What?" he said, his own voice sounding distant and strange.
"You're nothing. Get up and go over to the ledge and jump off."
He shook his head at the imagined voice.
"Now just jump off."
He gasped when he realized that he was already standing on the edge of the roof. His toes was stretched past the boundary of the stone outcropping. His body wavered off-kilter.
"No…" he said to himself, to the voice, to God.
"Jump. No one will care. Except the person who has to clean up the mess."
Sherlock put one of his feet behind him slowly, carefully. "I'm not going to jump," he reiterated.
"But you want to," the voice replied.
A sudden flash appeared on the horizon, blinding him momentarily, and a dark shape grabbed at his legs, trying to pull him over the edge.
"No!" he cried, kicking at the illusion. "Leave me alone!"
He fell, hitting his back hard against the cement and pebbles of the roof. The last of his hallucinations was fading, the colors bleeding away and fading.
One last voice whispered to him, taunting him, "You are alone."
Sherlock curled over onto his side, his back throbbing in pain. He stared at his outstretched arm, covered in track marks from various drugs.
He wept. He had never cared about his loneliness so much in his life.
3. He doesn't think about the third time anymore.
At least, he tries not to. Occasionally broken fragments of that day-and the night preceding it-break through his conscious control.
It happened when he was twenty. He woke up in a strange place, a coat closet, but not even a familiar coat closet. His mind was hazy, as if he had taken a sedative drug. His neck was twisted at an awkward angle, stiff and painful when he tried to move it. He attempted to sit up, but a sharp pain halted him.
He froze. The pain was coming from a very delicate, very personal area.
That's when he realized his pants were off.
He almost screamed, but ended up choking on air instead. How? his mind screamed at him, how did this happen?
And then he remembered the bar. He was supposed to be meeting one of his contacts for some information involving plans for a jewel heist. There had been drinks, his contact never came, a strong pair of hands had led him to a cab…
Sherlock gingerly trailed his index finger between his legs. It came back sticky, nasty, awful. He started to hyperventilate, but forced that impulse down too, his only desire to get out of the closet, out of the strange house, and back to his flat. His place where nothing happened to him, where nothing harmed him, where he could think and think and no one would interrupt him.
He left the apartment he found himself in and didn't know where he was. The street was unfamiliar. The people were strangers, the houses weren't helpful.
He called Mycroft from a payphone, knowing his brother could trace it from his computer at the circuit office. His call completed, Sherlock hid himself away between two buildings, sliding down to the damp ground, carelessly.
He allowed himself to cry that time, stipulating that it was acceptable, so long as he had finished before Mycroft's secretary arrived.
4. When Sherlock was twenty-five, he began to accept inquiries for a private detective. Once he began investigating, he found that he could lose himself in the logic and the intensity of crimes and affairs. On top of the various drugs he indulged in, he began to neglect basic human needs like food and sleep.
One late night (or was it a very early morning?) he was tracking someone's cheating husband through popular clubs downtown. Sherlock had not eaten anything for two days, surviving on coffee and packets of sugar. He had followed this man, Klive, throughout all of the man's business endeavors, and his adulterous encounters. He hadn't slept in nearly thirty-eight hours.
Sherlock broke his concentration on Klive for a brief moment when a skinny twenty-year-old offered him ecstasy. Sherlock didn't bother with hallucinogens of any sort anymore, but inquired about cocaine and oxycodone. The little twit wasn't a pusher, as it turned out, just interested in getting Sherlock high.
As soon as his attention was back to his task, Sherlock realized that Klive had somehow slipped off. Cursing, Sherlock pushed his way through the crowd and ran out the back down of the pulsating club.
In the back alley, he saw a man's shadow running swiftly in the darkness. Sherlock raced after him and scaled some wooden crates to hop a chain link fence. When he jumped down to the other side, his vision darkened around the edges and he felt faint. Scowling at his double-crossing body, he ignored his fatigue and kept running.
He tripped over a sawed-off pipe that he never saw in the dim light. He landed on his shoulder, with a tangible snap. Sherlock yelped in pain, clutching his dislocated shoulder, writhing in the dirty alley.
Dammit. He wouldn't get paid for this job. He might not be able to afford groceries, or cocaine, or anything unless he went to Mycroft for help.
That train of thought was derailed by a wave of pain that brought a single tear to his eye. Sherlock resentfully let it slide down his cheek. Why couldn't he just use his body without it being such a damn nuisance?
After a few moments of self-loathing, Sherlock got his feet under him and headed for his flat.
5. The fifth time it happened, he knew that he deserved it. He was lying on the cold tiles of a bathroom floor, shaking and coughing miserably. He didn't even try to leave the bathroom anymore, because he had the need to purge his stomach randomly and frequently. Sherlock had an cruel pain in his abdomen, nearly as bad as it had been when he'd had a kidney stone. His back ached as well, not quite a competitor for his stomach, however. He was too hot, sweating and nearly blind with fever. His heart was pounding in his brain.
30 milligrams and it would all go away. He knew where to get it. He knew where to get the needle and the tourniquet. He knew how to get out of Lestrade's apartment without the inspector noticing.
But he wouldn't do any of that. Nearly sentencing an innocent man to death because he was high was utterly unreasonable, even for Sherlock.
So he laid there, on the floor of Lestrade's bathroom, for hours. And when the pain and discomfort strained him to the point of collapsing in on himself, he released his frustration through his tears.
1. He was angry and in a lot of pain when it happened again. He stretched in the uncomfortable hospital bed with its starchy, abrasive sheets and the glare of the fluorescent lights above him. The stretch proved unwise as a jolt like an electric shock ignited in his abdomen. The stab wound was inconsequential, a trifle matter to be ignored. And yet he found that he could not get out of the bed and stand up.
Damn those hired thugs, he thought, bitterly, seething with the sharp pain caused by any movement.
Familiar footsteps clambered about in the hallway. Ah, of course. Here he comes to berate me for getting a tiny scratch.
John entered the quiet hospital room, his eyes wide and darting about in concern. When his gaze lighted on Sherlock, sitting up and seemingly well, he crossed to his side instantly.
"Oh my god, Sherlock," he breathed, taking in the blood soaking through the bandages. "Are you all right? You look fine, actually…" He assessed Sherlock's gaunt features, his clinical eye scanning for abnormalities. Sherlock chose to remain silent, waiting for the proverbial ball to drop.
It didn't. John kept on talking. "No one could tell me anything about your condition," he struggled to say. "No one Iknew/I anything about your condition…" John moved slowly, deliberately.
Sherlock nearly recoiled when John pulled down the protective arm of the bed and climbed in beside him. The bed was small, but John managed to lay himself on his side, his body sculpted against Sherlock's. The doctor placed his arm gently, tenderly across Sherlock's chest, his hand resting against the other man's bicep.
John's voice cracked as he whispered, "I'm so glad that you're all right…"
Damn him! Sherlock said to himself. What does he expect me to say to that?
The answer to his question came to him, quickly after. He didn't have to say anything. He could just lie there and appreciate the only person who had ever cared for him enough to be so concerned about a petty wound of his. He was suddenly overwhelmed with a feeling he hadn't known since early childhood: contentment.
Sherlock shifted his head to rest against John's. The doctor's face was wet with tears of relief and bliss. Sherlock suddenly realized that his was as well.
Marill: My first five times plus one fic! I'm so happy! Hope that you liked it! :DDD