I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice.
Give me reason, but don't give me choice,
Because I'll just make the same mistake again.

-James Blunt, "Same Mistake"


The ward is far from quiet. Several patients are up and about, roaming the small day area. Some relatives and friends are visiting, adding to the chaos. This particular section of the hospital only allows two visiting hours per day, and John plans to make the best he can of them. Three items out of the six he brought with him are allowed in. One of Sherlock's books on social anthropology, which John had surmised would be an interesting read, a duffel bag with Sherlock's pyjamas, and one of his outfits, and a ratty blanket. John had made a point to bring Sherlock something that would make him "feel better," whatever the hell that meant. So he had brought his own sleeping roll blanket that had been with him since the army.

John feels his chest tighten as he remembers the conversation on his phone earlier. Sherlock's hospital room had a free phone service and he had called John, sounding distinctly not-himself.

"John, they aren't going to let me out unless you sign some paper saying you'll stay on suicide watch once we're at home," Sherlock had said. "I just need you to sign it and get me out of here."

John had been contemplative. He'd heard the pleading in his friend's voice, but wasn't going to commit to anything until he'd seen him. "Does the psychiatrist think it's a good idea for you to leave so soon?" he'd asked.

"She can bugger off for all I care!" Sherlock had yelled. John had wondered whether he was sharing a room or not. If he was, his roommate had definitely drawn the short straw on room assignments. "I feel like I'm in prison, John! I want you to get me out!"

John had tried to remain calm. Sherlock was afraid, and that was the truth. He tried to talk to him in what he hoped was a friendly, soothing voice. "Which of your pyjamas do you want me to bring?" he had asked.

"No!" Sherlock had wailed. Actually wailed. "I don't want anything! I just want to go home!"

John had listened silently while Sherlock yelled obscenities and threats at him. Finally he had calmed and John had promised to visit him as soon as the hospital allowed it.

John walks into the room that Sherlock has to himself. He's in the bed, staring at the wall, dismally. John empathizes with his boredom. He walks over to the bed and silently lays his tattered blue blanket over the thin body. Sherlock starts but soon corrects himself, grasping the edge of the blanket between his fingers.

"Mycroft said no," is all that Sherlock says. John guesses that Sherlock had asked his brother to sign him out as well, to no avail.

"If the doctor thinks you need to be in here, then she probably thinks there'll be some benefit," John says. He looks at the bare room, wishing that he'd brought some flowers, or some kind of token of getting well soon.

Sherlock catches his eye. "You don't get flowers when you try to kill yourself," he says coarsely. "People don't really know what to do, but flowers could encourage you to try again or some rubbish. Ergo, no flowers."

John swallows. "It isn't that we don't want you to get better, Sherlock, because of course we do." He pauses, trying to collect his words into a coherent sentence. "But for me, at least, I can't help feeling hurt by what you did. And a little guilty. It's not a good combination."

Sherlock finally rolls over to face him. His eyes are dark and hollow. John catches a glimpse of the bandage on his left wrist. "I thought I had your schedule all worked out so that it would be too late when…I feel terrible, John. I shouldn't have done it…or I should at least have done it well…"

John slaps him right across the face. Sherlock is stunned, but John doesn't apologize. "Did you even think of what I would have to go through? Do you even care what I'm going through now?" John stands up and paces for a moment. When Sherlock doesn't answer, he sits back down beside him on the edge of the bed. "When I found you, do you know what was going through my head? I couldn't stop thinking, 'Please don't leave. Please just live a few more minutes.' I would have traded anything, any person, including myself for your life right then." John visibly sags and then his eyes fill with tears and he's gripping Sherlock to his chest and weeping into the thick hair. "I'm just so glad that you're ok…you…you have no idea how much this affects me…" Anything more he wants to say is drowned out by his gasping sobs.

Sherlock shivers, but not from cold, and he grabs fistfulls of the back of John's jumper. He takes in John's airy, familiar scent and wishes, however illogical it is, that he could undo the last stretch of time that he's irrevocably destroyed.

Finally John is able to pull back and look at Sherlock in the eye. "I want you to get better," he says. "I will do anything at all to insure that happens."

Sherlock nods. He knows that John means he'll have to endure an extended stay in the hospital under the careful watch of the psychiatrists and nurses. He almost doesn't care, because John has leaned down to kiss him. He carefully returns the kiss, fragile thing that it is, and indulges in the moment.

A tentative knock comes at the door and John backs away from Sherlock a bit. Lestrade walks in, and Sherlock almost collapses into tears, as the Detective Inspector is smiling weakly, encouragingly, and holding a vase of flowers.


Dear ones, if you are ever in a situation where you feel that suicide is the only way out, please call someone. This link gives all international crisis lines. wwwDOTbefriendersDOTorg/

Peace and all my love.