Big Brother is Watching

AN - you may need a dose of insulin after this!

John walks for four hours - ending up in Woodford Green. He probably could have got there quicker if he had actually intended to walk to Woodford Green from Baker Street, but he wasn't walking at to reach a destination - more walking to forget. The exhaustion and the rhythm kept his mind on the act of walking calmly and not on the end of his relationship with Sherlock Holmes.

He stopped for a moment, staring into the murky depths of Potato Pond. He knew that if he followed the diagonal path across the green he'd reach the common, set between the primary school and the church; from there he'd find the golf course and eventually the countryside. He thought he might like to be surrounded by nature for a while, just walking where the ley lines took him. It would be easier than thinking about Sherlock and his anger.

A dark, deeply nondescript car pulled up beside him and Mycroft Holmes stepped out. John stepped back to stay out of arm and umbrella reach, eyeing the other man with disfavour. He was in no mood for Mycroft's sanctimonious speeches at the moment... or ever again.

"Sherlock is beside himself," Mycroft announced flatly, "Within ten minutes he was trying once more to find you. He's exhausted and more than a little manic. You need to return to Baker Street at once."

"I gave you my word that I wouldn't," John replied wearily, pained to hear that his heart was distressed, "Right there in the front room of Baker Street. I would leave the moment that Sherlock bade me to. I'm sure you heard him do that."

"I also heard Lestrade remind him of that oath, and the subsequent near hysterics that ensued once the DI left," Mycroft frowned, "I don't know what it is about you, John Watson, to have captured Sherlock so completely, but whatever it is, I will not hold you to that oath. Return to Baker Street at once."

John frowned, that contrary side of his nature sitting up in irritation. He took a couple more steps away from Mycroft and jammed his hands in his pockets. Before he could speak, there was a hum, a sharp sting on the back of his neck and the world ballooned wildly out of focus.

"You bastard," John managed as his legs turned to rubber and gave out beneath him. Just before the ground leapt up to smack him in the face, he heard Mycroft's smug response, putting the elder Holmes at the top of his 'to mess with' list.

"My parents were legally married, I assure you."

*****

He woke in his bed. Someone had stripped him, dressed him in the loose track pants and tee he preferred to wear at this time of the year and positioned him carefully on his right side. That same someone was currently spooned behind him, a leg thrust between John's and both arms wrapped tightly around him.

"I'm sorry," Sherlock muttered into John's shoulder, "I wasn't thinking... I didn't mean it..."

"But a part of you did, Sherlock," John sighed, opening his eyes. His bedside table greeted him, as did the late afternoon sunlight. Sleep had been a rare commodity the last twelve days, as he'd been busy leaving ambiguous scent trails for Moriarty to follow and collecting as much information as he could to present a case to Lestrade - if things ever got that far.

"You left me behind!" Sherlock protested, "You should never have done that!"

"I had no choice," John twisted to look at his lover, his chest clenching at the pale complexion, prominent cheek bones and exhausted smudges under those dark, dark eyes, "I would be casting magic almost continuously, not to mention without a moments notice. I couldn't expose you to that."

"But it was Moriarty," Sherlock breathed, freeing one hand to clasp John's head in long fingers, "He's..."

"Brilliant," John sighed, "More than a little mad, a genius clever enough to match you and more slippery than a barrel of eels."

"Dangerous," Sherlock corrected coldly, "He tried to kill you once - remember?"

"The vest full of play dough? The explosion of Fire and Air that I shaped to catch only him? I didn't become a Mage overnight, Sherlock. If you'd run when I told you, I'd have been able to put him down there at the pool," John sighed, "You got there early... eager beaver."

"John," Sherlock groaned and buried his head in John's neck. John wriggled onto his back - hard to do with the Sherlock Limpet attached firmly to him - and wrapped his heart in his arms. It seemed that for once, John knew more about what had happened at a crime scene than his lover; oddly enough he felt no desire to gloat.

"Moriarty already had some idea that there was magic in the world when he killed Jude Kinsey - at Archie's request. Archie didn't do it himself because June was stronger than him, and the taking of a life with magic would have affected his own ability to practice, which would be a red flag to everyone around him," John started back at the beginning, "Paul Pierce was not the strongest Mage I've ever known, but he detected the experiments that Moriarty was making with the sympathetic spells in Jude's thaumaturgy lexicon and that led him into Moriarty's path."

"Moriarty tried to use him as a battery to gain more magical ability," Sherlock mumbled. He was rubbing his face in John's neck, like a cat that was reacquainting itself with its Human. John smiled and stroked the lank locks under his hand, making a note to ensure they both took some time to clean themselves up properly. He'd developed a little cleaning ritual for himself and Sherlock that allowed him to pamper the other man without him objecting... it would be a nice way for them to reconnect.

"Yes, but it doesn't work that way - especially when there was no magical ability to begin with. Moriarty may well have managed to understand and manipulate the effects of the Runes in Pierce's book, but they could not give him what he wanted. Through his contact with Archie, he knew there was a new Mage in London and he started leaving Runes where they would be noticed," John sighed and shifted to get more comfortable, his legs were going to sleep under Sherlock's weight. His heart moved reluctantly, giving him a sulky look that John could only smile fondly at.

"I disappeared when it became apparent that Moriarty was trying to lure me out for a 'final showdown' of some sort," John rolled his eyes, "I didn't warn you for the very simple reason that I wanted you well away from him and his madness. He tried to kill you once, my heart. Never again."

"So you killed him instead," Sherlock lifted his head and looked John's face over closely, blushing a little at the term of endearment. John didn't use them often, but when he did he meant them - something that Sherlock had come to realise.

"I gave him a choice - either he allowed me to wipe his memory and live, or keep his memories and die. He chose the latter," John shrugged, not very remorseful about the matter. With Moriarty gone there would be something of a power struggle among the criminals of London, if not the UK, which meant that Sherlock was about to become very busy.

"Will you stay? Will you forgive me? I'll never say that again... not as long as I live," Sherlock's mind had jumped back to their last meeting and the words he had said. John looked at him seriously, tugging at the dirty curls on his lovers head. They'd definitely need to get up and indulge in some personal grooming in a minute.

"I will stay, this time," John said softly, "But mark me well, Sherlock, if you ever say that to me again, not even Mycroft will be able to help you locate me."

"Never again," Sherlock vowed. John kissed his forehead and then shoved him away, climbing out of bed and complaining lightly that his lover needed a bath etc, etc...

He led his lover out to the bathroom, one hand fisted in the others shirt, holding on as tightly as he knew how.

Finished

Disclaimer - settings and characters and depicted in BBC series not mine. No money being made. Plot is mine.