Even in his mild comatose state, he could hear the chaos of that was common in hospitals. The clanging of shoes on the lilo floor; the creak of wheels trailing down the hallways from the hospital beds and trolleys; the low beeping of the heart monitor that confirmed he was indeed alive. All were happening so close by, yet it was so distant from the inner sanctum of his mind.
Sherlock had been in this situation before, years and years earlier. It had been horrible, terrifying, eye opening. He had sworn to never let himself get into this state again and, once again, he had failed to keep a promise to himself. Drugs had ruined his life, he had nearly lost everything he held dear to him – he had been clean for nearly ten years but, now, it was all over. All that work down the drain … all for nothing … all because of John bloody Watson!
He wasn't entirely sure when he started having feelings for the ex-solider that were for more than friendship (which were alien feelings to him anyway) but he played with the thought that it was around the time that John had shot the cab driver saving him, from most likely, killing himself. No one had ever done something like that for him before. Everyone always assumed that he, the infamous Sherlock Holmes, could take care of himself. That wasn't the case – he just always got caught in improbable and dangerous situations, made a few smart moves and got out unscathed.
He would call it luck if he believed in it.
John Watson was something different to anyone he'd come across. For one, the man actually liked being around him. And he didn't insult him, just got complained a lot. Though, Sherlock supposed he could understand that anyone who wasn't expecting it would be shocked at seeing a severed head in their fridge. He knew he could be … excruciating to live with (he had been told on many occasions) but John had seemed different.
It turned out he was exactly like all the others. Hung around him for the adrenaline rush, for the excitement but when things got too hard, left him alone to pick him self up off the ground and begin again. It had happened numerous times before – that's why he claimed himself married to his job. The only problem was his heart (and his body) didn't always agree with the decision, no matter how hard he tried.
Sherlock knew that it should have been obvious of John's feelings towards him when he came home that Thursday night, four hours late, and announced his status out of the blue. "Sorry, I'm late … I was out on a date with this girl Sarah …" Sherlock feigned disinterested, continuing to find out what would happen if you poor an Oxide solution onto the skin of a cadaver (it was only a hand – he had wanted the whole torso but he was being considerate of his new roommate's dislike of dead bodies in his home) but really he was hanging on every single one of his words as bitter questions flied around his head. Was she really that pretty? Did she understand him at all – did she know his needs and his wants? Did she really care for John as much as Sherlock did, or was this just a fling for her? He never voiced any of these thoughts. He'd more or less convinced him self that his feelings for the doctor were nothing more than a reaction from being alone for so long, without a friend, that the feeling would past.
That didn't stop the fact his heart broke into smaller and smaller shards with every word the man spoke of his wonderful and magnificent Sarah.
It was few days after the Moriarty incident that Sherlock started seeing less and less of his friend. He always seemed to be at work or with Sarah. Where as before he would make time to join Sherlock on the cases that Lestrade gave him, John just seemed to want to stay as far away from him as possible. His blogs started mentioning him more in fleeting than a real reference. It was suddenly all about Sarah and nothing else seemed to matter. No matter how hard Sherlock tried to get John to join him (with experiments or cases – anything!) it was almost as if the man had tried to think of every excuse he could use to stay away.
So Sherlock gave him his space. He, in turn, buried himself in his work, taking on more and more cases - even those that were as boring as crime of passion – anything that would help him to keep his mind off of the now absence male. It was only recently that he had nothing to throw himself into, no cases, and no experiments – nothing. Not even Mycroft had been bothering him. It was that time that gave the high-functioning sociopath time to think. His depression grew until he couldn't take it anymore.
He hated how something as trivial and as fleeting as the ex-military doctor could drive him to his point of physical and mental expiration. He just wanted to give up, to be left alone. He didn't want to remember John Watson. He wanted the doctor out of his life for good. Though his heart denied everything, his mind knew that someone that could manoeuvre him to this state wasn't good for his emotional and bodily health.
The high had been so good. It had made him feel so free, so alive. More so than he had felt since before he had ever heard of the name Moriarty. His senses buzzed, sung like a bird. It had been so long since he'd experienced this before – it more than worth the pain of the injection as the heroin entered his system. He just wanted it to last …
… But that thought is what left him in this position.
Sherlock could hear everything around. Everything that was happening became clearer as his mind slowly, cautiously, approached the surface. Voices that were once muffled noises became sharper, louder. Apparently, Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade had been visiting him on and off for the few days he'd been comatose due to drug overdose, seeing no change no matter the visit. Today, for them, wasn't any different.
"I still don't understand … Sherlock Holmes never seemed like the type to do drugs …" Lestrade musing voice come from his right, "He's a psychopath for sure, but never a junkie…"
Mrs. Hudson blew her nose lightly into her favourite linen handkerchief. "Sherlock was a troubled soul; you have that right at least, but not a psychopath. Not completely. He had a problem ages ago – you know how teenagers are – but he's been clean for years. I … don't know what could have brought him back to this stage …"
He could still remember the last time he saw John. The last time he spoke to him. The last time he … It was stupid of him really. He was a consulting detective. He'd run through every possibility in his head a thousand times but the bloody doctor was just there and he acted without thinking.
"What do you want me to say Sherlock?" John had sighed, his puppy dog eyes making him look both gorgeous and self-pitying, "The cases and the murders … they were fun for a time but all good things have to end at some point … I need to move away from the danger that follows you about. I need to have a life that is, for the most part, normal … can you understand that?" Next thing Sherlock knew, he had moved across the distance between them in three, long strides and had his lips locked with the small man. It was forceful and hard, one-sided and passionate, but Sherlock loved every minute of it.
He wasn't surprised when John forced them apart, his eyes wide with shock, and legged it out the front door. It was one of the better scenarios he had thought up, he had to admit. He hadn't seen John after that and the doctor wouldn't answer any of his calls, or reply to any of his texts. Seven days later, he was lying in a hospital bed.
With all that, he never did expect the ex-military doctor to come to his bedside at all. His lack of acknowledgement to his existence over the past few days was pretty much all the evidence needed to show that John Watson wanted nothing to do with him, so it was a pleasant and surprising shock when he heard his gravelled voice drifting around him. And, judging by the distance the voice had, it was happening in the room around him. Sherlock knew himself well enough that, if he was indeed imagining John's mouth forming these words, they would have been much clearer, much louder.
"Sherlock … God, I'm sorry, so sorry…I didn't mean to run out on you like that. It was just…shock I guess – it's not everyday that your supposed asexual roommate plants one on you." There was a weak, almost dead laugh that John released as if convincing himself there was some kind of hilarity in the situation that others couldn't see. "…I don't hate you Sherlock – I could never…you just caught me by surprise. I didn't know what else to do but leave…but it was cowardly for me to do. I've had my fair share of one sided encounters and I know how it feels to be rejected so badly – I should … I should have said something, done something, anything expect run away. I went, willingly, into battle for three years but I couldn't deal with something as simple as this?" There was a moment's pause. "Only it's not that simple is it? You kissed me…I have a girlfriend. I'm completely heterosexual…at least, I thought I was." The rough voice, sore with emotion, got closer, almost as if John had leant in to whisper something for his ears only. "How is it that someone so completely isolated from the real world, so lacking in social skills, could make me question my own sexuality? But that's something you like to do, isn't it? Confuse people, make them question there own movements? You must find it funny to watch someone as everything they thought they knew is trashed…Only this time, your plan back fired.
"I can't stop thinking about that kiss…who knew you were an expert in that field as well, eh, Sherlock? Did you know that I spent the last week in my gorgeous girlfriend's bed, and every time I touch her, I thought of you? How sick is that – so I decide to go talk to you, to tell you, and then I find out from Mrs. Hudson that you overdosed and have been in hospital for almost half a week. I mean, how stupid can you be? You've been clean for so long – you told me so yourself – that's why you have so many nicotine patches; there not quite the same but good enough. I couldn't help wondering what could have happened – what had pushed you so far as to turn back to heroin…and then I realised: Me…"
A warm pressure cocooned his still hand tightly. "I'm so sorry Sherlock. I thought this was all a game…an experiment…I never realised…Sherlock, you have to pull through – you have to…And when you do, I promise I will make it up to you, in anyway I can…I'd do anything just please…pull through."
John was hurting. He blamed himself. At that revelation, all the hurt and resentment that had built up over the period where his presence was gone melted away into nothing. John wanted him – truly wanted him. He would call it a miracle if he believed in them. Now, with real reason to return, Sherlock fought against the darkness that, slowly, was pulling him back into a conscious state. No – he wouldn't leave John alone. Not anymore. For so long, the both of them had been alone, isolated whether it by their own means or others, but now it was no more. They could be together, as a couple, not as friends. It was more than the world's only consulting detective could handle. He would return, but only to experience the one thing he couldn't understand until now: love.
Pain exploded in the back of his head suddenly, making him wince and shifted uncomfortably. It was clear to Sherlock that the morphine had worn off but the annoyance at the agony was soon replaced with joy when he realised something: if he could feel the pain so sharply, it must mean he was coming around. His ears popped and the noises of the hospital became louder than before. Even better, he could now hear John's hopeful voice coaxing him back to the real world.
"…lock, come on, and wake up…you can do it…you're strong enough…" With every word, Sherlock could feel his bodily strength regaining, forcing himself further into the future he could have with such a man. His eyes rolled beneath his eyelids and they fluttered gently. It took a few minutes but finally, the flaps of skin rose.
Sherlock realised at that moment, that the best thing to wake up to was John's emotion filled blue eyes. And he planned to wake up to them every single moment from this one.