There was a very specific moment where John realized that, perhaps, he'd been at this with Sherlock Holmes for a tad too long. It was the absence of something, really, that set him off. He supposed that it was good the he was, at the very least, still exhibiting some sort emotion beyond the cool scientific gaze that his flat-mate gave the world but that moment of absence of compassion rattled John more than he could have believed.
They'd been standing there, Sherlock and John, looking down at the body of a man in the mid-ages of his life, and John realized suddenly, he wasn't feeling what he normally felt. There wasn't a slight sickness in his stomach that marked a sadness about the situation. There wasn't a frown on his face as he looked into the man's face to try and put together a quick story on the man's life. In fact, he hadn't really put together a story for the man, just left it at "he's dead". Deviating from the compassionate norm he'd carefully marked each murder encounter with since he'd met Sherlock meant something profound. Something, well a bit not good. That's what bothered John most. If he was no longer able to tell himself what was a bit not good, who the hell would tell Sherlock who, let's be honest, needed it now and again.
That was why John was now standing in the kitchen staring at the experiments that littered their kitchen table, the microwave, fridge and any other accessible surface that Sherlock deemed necessary for the "importance of science". John sucked in a deep breath and tried to shove the inner image of Sherlock's face from his mind. That was the root of this whole problem, Sherlock. There was a good reason that he'd become so lax and unemotional around the bodies. Bodies! He remembered a time when he'd called each a victim, or at least a person. Now they were just a crime scene, something to be poked and proded as a means to the end of some great mystery.
But it was Sherlock's fault! That damned face. Every bleeding word he spoke. Each mannerism which John could no longer pretend not to have memorized. Though to many, Sherlock was a man unreadable, to John Watson, he was just a man of science and therefore utterly predictable. The problem was, you had to know the man to be able to predict him. He wasn't unpredictable, just peculiar. Once you got his peculiarities down, guessing what he would bring into the house next was simple. That John had not only grown accustomed to Sherlock, but seemed to have picked up that cold attitude of his as well bothered John.
He needed something to distract him or he might start slipping into the sociopathic madness that Sherlock did on a weekly basis. Tea. A good cup of tea would settle John. He could sit down with a cup of Jasmine or maybe Chamomile and go over the details of the case, go over the details of each person involved, including the victim. He was still there, still knew that his lack of personal thoughts was "a bit not good" so there was still time for corrections to this cold attitude he was picking up.
Opening the fridge the first thing John noticed was that there was no milk. The second thing was that there was a severed hand with a gash and an infestation of little grubs. Sucking in a shocked breath he also sucked in the smell of rancid, infected, dead skin and he balked. Stepping back and slamming the door, a fit of rage crept up very quickly on him. It was surprising really, how angry he was. Yanking the fridge back open he lifted the grub-hand and threw it in the trash. Turning around to the sight of the other experiments only tossed more wood to the building inferno that was his mind's temper. Grabbing each piece, every little carefully collected piece of documentation, scrap paper, thawing this and that body parts, chemicals, everything- he chucked it all around the house. He kicked and threw and cursed. Hell part way through he'd even grabbed the gun from his lower back and fired three consecutive shots into the spot of the couch that Sherlock loved to curl up on, muttering something about "unrequited" and "ignorant" and "beautiful".
God did he look like a madman. God did he feel like one. He felt like he was losing it all, like somehow what Sherlock had tucked in his head was a disease that was spreading to John. He was infected with this driving need for danger, for something to do, for the complete lack of boredom to the point of madness and anger and lack of human compassion.
You feel for him, you'd do anything for him. The thoughts were in his head faster than John could keep up with. Yeah well, damn him! He fired back at himself, what he hoped was internally and not out loud.
"Damn who?" It was Sherlock's voice from the doorway.
No such luck, keeping the thoughts to himself. Turning around, cream jumper torn at one sleeve and gun in his opposing hand, John Watson looked at his flat-mate with washed out gray-hazel eyes. "Never mind. It doesn't matter," John said before turning away heading very quickly for his room. Now that he was calmed down, he had the sudden sane thought about what his flat-mate might just do when he discovered all of the little projects that kept him sane were destroyed.
"John, I brought milk sin-" Sherlock's voice fell to nothing as he stepped into the living room, watching John's retreating back. "And just what the hell did you shoot? Do you understand the importance of these projects, John? What in hell has gotten into you?" Sherlock shouted, running after John. Their positions were quite reversed for the first time since they'd met. Normally it was John trying to fish the gun from Sherlock's hands, John trying to put the house back together, John not Sherlock doing the yelling at the other for something inhuman and "a bit not good".
"You, Sherlock. That's what's gotten into me. I can't think at the moment, not properly. I'm…infected or something." He shouldn't be spewing what he was.
Sherlock now stood in the doorway to John's room and narrowed his translucent silver eyes on John and growled, "You're an idiot, that's what you are. I'm not infectious. You're just being incredibly dense. I can't believe what you've done to the flat. It's my job to destroy things."
John was at the closet, grabbing a duffle bag and tossing it on the bag. He turned to look at Sherlock. "Yeah well, you have. Me," John said, gun still perched in his hand as he waved it around with each sentence. The hand motions were a frantic physical part of the mental breakdown and he probably shouldn't have had the gun to begin with. "I know, I chose to do this, to follow you and I jumped every time you mentioned danger. So it's my fault, too. But I can't keep doing this Sherlock. I need to get away for a while, get my thoughts and feelings back together, back to 'me'." John was spouting without thinking, of course that was nothing new. He was used to spilling his thoughts all over the conversational table like a blundering child. But he was being insensitive. Shit, he couldn't even talk about his growing insensitivity without being so. Sherlock was a delicate being, despite his higher intelligence and John knew that. John knew that more than anybody, aside from Mycroft probably. He should care that he was ripping out what ever sort of heart Sherlock had.
The man laughed. He actually laughed! Sherlock stood there, laughing, staring at John as he grabbed clothes and stuffed them into the military grade duffle bag. "John, you know you're doing that out loud?"
Normally, it was things like that which would cheer him up almost immediately, or else tinge his cheeks pink and made him mutter apologies. Now it just frustrated him. Sherlock wasn't seeing how serious this was, he was acting like a child with John's emotions. "That's it right there. There's more than just me being upset about not feeling compassion." He'd dropped the clothes to wave the gun some more, pointing it between the ceiling, John's own chest, and perhaps once even unintentionally leveling it off at Sherlock. "It's dealing with you brushing aside my feelings. I thought it was different, with you and me. It isn't though, is it?" John shook his head and looked at his hand.
Sherlock was staring intently at John making him suddenly feel like one of those projects John had destroyed only moments ago. "You're…leaving?" Sherlock asked in an exasperated tone. "That's the stupidest idea I've heard in a while, John. You were miserable before you came here." He shook his head and stomped out to the living room.
John heard crashes, things moving around, and a sudden flop on the couch. The click of a computer turning on let him know that Sherlock had taken to the couch with his laptop, oblivious or uncaring of the gunshots to the seat. More than likely uncaring. There wasn't much Sherlock didn't notice. Heaving a heavy sigh, John tucked away the last of what he needed and moved out into the main room. He was right, Sherlock was there on the couch, legs tucked upward in a V and holding the laptop. He was pounding away furiously at the keyboard and he didn't look at all pleased. Good. And a bit not good. "Sherlock," he said in a baritone murmur.
"Hmm?" the man mused from the couch, not bothering to lift his head.
It was frustrating yet again. Everything was a mess and backwards at the moment and that felt wrong in John's chest. Still, he'd made up his mind and he had to go, at least for a while. Harry and he had been chatting lightly on the blog so perhaps he'd go to see her, see how she was doing. She was family after all and he should at least be friendly towards her, no matter how bad off they'd been with each other. "I'm leaving. I'll call you when I've figured things out, all right?"
"Mmm," Sherlock groused.
"That's really all you have to say about this?" John gasped, putting a lot of weight on the leg he hadn't had a limp in. The other one, the psychosomatically fucked up one was actually throbbing. He rather felt like limping his way out of the place. Funny how attached his leg and emotional state were.
Sherlock looked over at John finally and heaved a massive shrug of his shoulders. "What's the point? I've tried asking you to stay, you won't. Used to it though. So, goodbye Watson."
Distance. That's what saying his last name did. Funny, Sherlock was always distant with everyone but…no, he'd grown quite close to John hadn't he? And now, John was abandoning him so he placed that distance back. Perhaps John was making the wrong choice. Bodies. Laughing at the crime scenes. Needing new crime weekly. No, it was a hard choice, but it was the right one. They both needed space and John could create that. "All right, well could I use your phone?"
Oddly, Sherlock stood up, setting the computer aside and stared over at John. He didn't say anything, just tossed his head upward ever so slightly as if to say, "come get it." So he did.
John walked over to Sherlock, standing in front of him looking slightly up. Damn, he even hated being shorter than the man. John felt in every way inadequate at the moment. He slowly reached out, knowing somehow that Sherlock wouldn't stop him. Sticking his hand into Sherlock's pocket, he pulled out the phone. His eyes remained on Sherlock's odd silvery eyes, not able to look away from the selfish, uncaring, completely stupid, and yet utterly loveable man. Holding the phone up to his mouth, he hit the button on the side and the shrill, automated tone sounded, "Please say a command."
"Delete contact," John said and watched one emotion creep into Sherlock's face. Funny, he'd never really been able to get surprise out of Sherlock, not this confused surprise at least. Mostly he got a smile here or there when he'd been exceptionally clever or had gloated over what Sherlock had done. It was sickly pleasing to see this new sad surprise pass over his face. Perhaps Sherlock would finally feel what John did. "John Watson."
"Contact erased," the voice answered back to him. John did not bother handing Sherlock the phone, he merely stuffed it back in the man's pocket. Then he grabbed his duffle bag and moved around the shocked detective and out of the door, out of Sherlock's life.