Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep…
John's used to being left behind. In the army the medic doesn't charge into the front lines. Instead, he watches as good men and women, people he knows, go on forlorn hope missions in the great big forlorn hope mission that is Afghanistan. And then you wait. You wait for the call on the radio. And you hope that it's something that can be treated and something you can handle with the supplies you have so you don't have to just hold some poor kid's hand while their life runs red into the sand. And you hope that the medical badge on your arm will keep you from dying right next to the kid.
You find yourself trying not to make friends, because friendships hurt and friendships break down your objectivity. You try not to care.
John's used to being left behind. Of being left out of Sherlock's plans, of being left outside while Sherlock's getting beaten up or strangled or any other terrible thing that Sherlock can get into by when left to himself.
But he can't not care. And he hopes that Sherlock isn't leaving him behind in some misguided desire to protect him. He doesn't know if Sherlock knows what it's like to be left behind. To wake in the night touching the cold, empty side of the bed and to wonder if the person you love most in the world is merely downstairs dropping chemicals in a petri dish, or halfway across London bleeding to death.
The mere idea of you, the longing here for you,
You'll never know how slow the moments go 'till I'm near to you.
Sometimes he wonders how he got here. Loving and loved by this impossible man who is so often abrasive and selfish and…a man. And loving the sex. Really, really loving the sex. Making love to Sherlock is almost spiritual. The slow adoration of each other's bodies. Sherlock touching him in ways that he never thought he could be touched. And it is still surprising how sensual Sherlock is, the way he presses his skin into John's hands when John runs them over him, whether it's a wrist, a cheek, a shoulder or an elbow. The way he wants to curl into John when the passion is spent, make himself small like a child to be soothed and comforted.
What was it that controlled me?
What kept my love-life lean?
My intuition told me
You'd come on the scene.
To be the object of his regard is breathtaking. To know that Sherlock hungers for him is both exhilarating and a little frightening. The intensity of those eyes, by turns pale jade, ice blue, silvery grey. Sloe eyed, cat-like and then wildly open ovals in surprise or joy. The sculptured cheek bones, the hollows of the throat and collar bones. Those long fingers that deduce everything from a few tactile sensations. Those fingers playing over the violin, the keyboard, the chemistry set. John's body.
But that regard can switch in an instant to the next case, the next corpse, the next idea for an experiment. Or into a dark depression that leaves John behind.
You'd say his smile was…
But only sometimes, often sad.
Sad smiles are strange.
He can be very strange.
I hope he'll never change.
He can't believe how close he was to missing this, to running away from it. From Sherlock; from their mad, dangerous life; from their mad, dangerous love. Each of those things in turn. He finds himself tongue-tied around Sherlock. Of course, most people are, but for a different reason. He worries that he will bore Sherlock, will reveal his own idiocy and Sherlock will turn away.
Longin' to tell you,
But afraid and shy,
I'd let my golden chances pass me by!
Soon you'd leave me,
Off you would go in the mist of day,
Never, never to know
How I loved you
If I loved you.
But Sherlock loves him. It seems incredible and slightly impossible. Sherlock's face lights up when John walks in the door. Sherlock looks to John for approval, for encouragement, for acceptance, and has, since that very first night.
So lucky to be
The one you run to see
In the evening, when the day is through.
Other people think that Sherlock is cold. They think that he is an analytical machine of deduction with no feelings and no heart. They are wrong. Sherlock is much, much more. Just like anyone, really, but because the exterior is so overwhelming, nobody bothers to find out what lies beneath. No one but John. John knows that Sherlock can be tender and romantic. He knows that the brusque behavior is a shell to protect the great heart. He knows it because Sherlock shares everything with John, every raw desire, every painful need.
You are the angel glow that lights the star,
The dearest things I know are what you are.
How could an ordinary person like John, like the rest of the world, not be overwhelmed by the wonder that is Sherlock Holmes? How can they even think to understand him? That brilliant mind that is always observing, searching, analyzing. To be next to Sherlock Holmes is to be in the path of a black hole. Everything is brought into his orbit. He changes everything around him just by proximity.
John knows that he's been altered by being near Sherlock. He's been transformed by being in love with Sherlock.
If I stand starry-eyed,
That's a danger in paradise
For mortals who stand beside
An angel like you.
There are so many ways that they might never have come together. John might not have run into Mike, or told him he needed a flat. John might have run away from the rude, mad man he met in the lab or the manic, mad man who invited him to a crime scene and then left him standing there. But he didn't. And he didn't run away from his own feelings, thank God, because all of it, knowing Sherlock, loving Sherlock, is the best thing that's ever happened to him. To have never found it…
…In love with the night mysterious,
The night when you first were there.
In love with my joy delirious
When I knew that you might care.
Sherlock makes him alive. There is no one so alive as Sherlock. Even when Sherlock is low, he is low in a way that seems to pull all of the energy out of London, out of the world. And even when Sherlock hurts him, which he still does, still leaves him furious or merely put out, it means that John can still feel. Sherlock keeps him in the world, keeps him from shutting down and going numb.
Make me alive, make me confused,
Mock me with praise, let me be used,
Vary my days, but alone is alone, not alive!
Before Sherlock he was so alone. He had no place in the world. No one needed an ex-soldier with nightmares and a shake. And no one desired a short, non-descript man. Now he has a place and he has a love that is transcendent.
Just in time, you've found me just in time.
Before you came, my time was running low.
I was lost, the losing dice were tossed,
My bridges all were crossed nowhere to go…
Despite it all, Sherlock believes in him and that makes all of the rest of it worthwhile.
Couldn't sleep, and wouldn't sleep
When love came and told me, I shouldn't sleep.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.
And the love life? God, the love life couldn't be better. How did he get so lucky? So what if John never thought he'd enjoy kissing a cheek with a soft, stubbly fuzz, or a mouth that occasionally tastes of smoke, or the savory smell of another man's sex. Sherlock is gorgeous and inventive; loving and generous in bed. Everyone knows that Sherlock is a child, but no one but John gets to see him when he's fragile and vulnerable. John kisses those pale eyelids when they flutter in distress. He kisses the most beautiful mouth in the world when it turns down in confusion and hurt, and catches those fluttering fingers in his hands when their owner is agitated. And John gets to listen to that heartbeat, proof that Sherlock has a heart, when Sherlock holds him tightly in their bed.
I always used to fancy then
He'd be one of the God-like kind of men,
With a giant brain and a noble head,
Like the heroes bold
In the books I've read.
Sherlock may behave as if he believes in nothing, but no one but Sherlock knows that John was just a burnt out shell when they met. John was cynical and depressed and the world was bleak and cold. He didn't believe in love, and he didn't believe in happiness. And then he looked in those eyes and he believed again that everything was possible.
There was love all around
But I never heard it singing.
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you!
I have often walked down this street before;
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before.
All at once am I several stories high.
Knowing I'm on the street where you live.
All songs the same as Sometimes There Are Birds except for 15 which is On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner.
I resisted doing it, but it was too perfect. Welcome to Baker Street.
1 and 10. Being Alive from Company by Stephen Sondheim
2. The Very Thought of You by Ray Noble (old standard)
3. Embraceable You from Girl Crazy by Ira and George Gershwin
4 and 8. And This is My Beloved and Stranger in Paradise from Kismet by Wright and Forrest
5. If I Loved You from Carousel by Oscar Hammerstein II
6. Time After Time by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne (old standard)
7. All the Things You Are from Very Warm for May by Oscar Hammerstein II
9. So in Love from Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter
11.Just in Time from Bells are Ringing by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
12.Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered from Pal Joey by Lorenz Hart
13.Bill from Show Boat by Oscar Hammerstein II
14.'Till There Was You from The Music Man by Meredith Willson
15.A Picture of Me Without You from Jubilee by Cole Porter