-The Lake House
"You really should think about getting someone to let that room Sherlock, it's not good to be cooped up alone like you are."
I let my eyes smile down at the woman in the parlor.
"I've got you Mrs. Hudson, besides who'd want me for a flatmate? If you can find a suitable one I will refrain from slowly demolishing the flat."
"No you won't, and I already have. Most of his things are already upstairs and he'll be back within the hour. You will behave won't you?"
I tilted my head.
"He's important to you, who is he?"
Her eyes lit up as she smiled up at me.
"John, John Watson. He actually owned this place before we took it over. He's a nice young man; don't go scaring him off with your silly adventures."
I let a small smile show.
"They're not silly Mrs. Hudson, and you get excited when you have something to gossip about with Mrs. Turner."
"Oh hush you! I tidied up a bit, not much mind, but it's obvious now two of you live upstairs. I'll send him up when he returns."
Her smile was soft, but her look held a lethal tinge to it—none of my games as she liked to call it. I nodded as she waved me off. I strode up the rest of the stairs and froze in the doorway; oddly enough, while admittedly there were a few new additions throughout the flat, it wasn't too noticeable, then again, not everyone was me. There were new books mingled in with my own, slotted in perfectly with my system or organization—the lack thereof actually. Medicinal texts mostly, so he was a doctor, how dull.
A closed laptop sat atop the secondary desk, not mine—then where, oh, that is generous. The chaos that once sat atop John's self-designated desk sat intermingled within the mess on my imposed desk, except every pile was in similar disarray as it sat on the previous desktop. Fascinating. The third and ninth steps creaked so I couldn't sneak upstairs to peek at his room; I had only been there once. Determining which room I wanted to let as my own; I'm a busy man, it was only logical to take the one on this floor.
There was a loose scrap of paper on the low table. It was my handwriting, I would recognize it anywhere. I picked it up and read my own apparent words.
daily happenings—John, if I were to have ever let myself love another, it would be you.
Regardless, my offer still stands. You never did answer me that night. Even if we're to be strangers the next we meet, I will truly be
Very sincerely yours,
"You must be Mr. Holmes, hello."
I looked up across the room to the doorway where a man stood, leaning in the doorframe. He offered me a small smile and stood straight and entered the room, his hand extended outwards to me. I stared for a moment and he sheepishly stuck in his coat pocket.
"Right, I forgot, Mrs. Hudson did say you were a bit strange with other people. No worries though, I have a busy schedule, working between two clinics and all, we should hardly see each other. She also told me that I should refrain from touching your experiments, but to ask that you label them properly so I don't accidently ingest one for a meal."
There was something utterly familiar about him but I could not place him in the recesses of my memory. I knew him, but not, at the same time. He finally recognized the scrap of paper in my hand his cheeks tinged pink—why?
"Might I have that back, please?"
"What's the significance of this to you?"
"You can't tell? She told me about your adventures, your special gift."
I narrowed my eyes at him and he rocked on his heels, hands stuffed in his pockets. A slightly insufferable smile on his lips, his eyes locked on my form, watching me as I dissected him.
"I would recall writing something so open; I've never done such a thing. I find wasting my time on what most people deem essential takes from what I do best. I wouldn't permit my mind to be littered with thoughts brought on from pure emotion. Whoever you think wrote this, while undoubtedly plagiarized both my handwriting and my signature, I assure you Mr. Watson, I did not write this."
"It's Doctor. Are you always like this? This stubborn and closed off? I just want to know, Mrs. Hudson did warn me, but I like to see first hand what I'm getting myself into on occasion."
I pressed my lips into a thin line—he was mocking me.
"You were invalided home from either Afghanistan or Iraq as an Army Doctor, which profession you took up to escape your family as well as an attempt to redeem yourself in your own eyes at the expense of others. You miss the bustle; otherwise you'd have taken up a boring single clinic duty rather than two. You have trouble sleeping due to nightmares of those you couldn't save while at war, your eyes tell and hold the sorrow you try so hard to conceal from others. Mrs. Hudson is just as important to you as you are to her, surrogate paternal connection. You're the son she was never able to have and she's the mother you wish yours could have been."
"Afghanistan. That all?"
I tilted my head.
"Not at all; I can't figure out your attachment to a forged scrap of paper."
He chuckled and walked over to his desk. I watched in silence as he pulled open one of the drawers and pulled out an old, worn, leather book. He walked towards me, holding it out.
"Open it to the marker and read, then you'll understand why that piece of paper means so much to me. You see, the words you're about to read—while it took me a bit to figure it out—were written by the very same man who wrote the remainder of that letter you're holding only a scrap of."
I sat down stiffly and took the book, glancing at its cover I realized it was a journal, his personal one—his name in the lower corner indicated it as such. I maneuvered the pages to the one he had marked.
First and foremost you must understand…
…most remarkable Army Doctor, have no doubts about that…
…FOR ALL THAT YOU CAN, IGNORE HIM! He's nothing special…
…those lost causes, you chose me as one. I was your downfall…
…line asks: Am I missed? More than I could ever hope to comprehend, and more than either you or I will ever know…
When I sat up once more, letting my gaze fall on his form, he leveled me with a rather hard stare.
"I'm tired of waiting Sherlock."
I tilted my head and narrowed my eyes; he thinks I wrote both of those. It is my handwriting, but I have no memory of writing those words—I froze. I recall writing something once, but I placed the memory as a hallucination when I experimented with heroin once.
"I beg your pardon Doctor; I don't recall writing such things."
He shook his head. He didn't believe me.
"Do you recall the words, Doctor Watson, I wish you survived, if only for the sole purpose that I solve you?"
I gave a slight nod. He stared, hard; then after a few moments he let out a small, sad huff of laughter.
"I waited, which is what the man who wrote those letters asked me to do. I searched and searched for all I could find of him for ages, till the one day a blog came up in my search. There are times Mr. Holmes, that I have memories I cannot recall ever having, but they feel so real to me, memories of sitting in this very room, or even my own, and corresponding with the only person who truly understands me."
His fingers curled further into the back of the chair he was leaning on.
"I tried to stay away, for years, Mr. Holmes, to ignore the man who so adamantly wished my survival, but I can't, not anymore."
He let out a rigid sigh and stood up, posture perfectly at parade rest and leveled his stare. I have never felt so nude merely sitting before someone, not even Mummy could make me feel like this. As if everything I attempted to dissolve within myself had materialized and is littered across my body in scrolling text for all to see.
"If it is your desire, Sherlock Holmes, to merely be flat-mates and nothing more, I shall whole-heartedly fulfill whatever you ask of me. Just please, I ask only one thing of you…that you…that if, if for any reason, you find yourself remembering, or you have had bits and pieces of odd memories, that you…I, I…I just don't want to be the only one who remembers."
His eyes were closed, but the pain he was feeling was written clearly across his face. In fact, it was present throughout his entire being. How did I tell him I understood, but I had no method to express what I do not understand? How do I tell him the memory that feels so real to me is that of a dingy, one room apartment, his fingers tugging on my curls as my own cupped his head, our lips mingled in a passionate gridlock? That every night that memory comes through to my dreams, I always wake feeling so empty and so alone?
While questioning my thoughts I realized he was mistaking my silence as a dismissal. He gave a curt nod and turned towards the door—if what he has implied is correct, I have asked him twice to remain alive for my own reasoning, the least I could do is tell him I remember something. I called out for him and he froze in the doorway, his back to me. For a moment, so brief, that if I hadn't felt this way before I'd have never even noticed—emptiness and loneliness raged within me. Making me ache in a familiar way and the apparent cure for all that I am is the man standing across the room from me.
"John, I…I have one memory."
He didn't turn, but the tenseness of his shoulders lessened. He wanted me to share it with him; he wasn't going to face me until I did—he had the audacity to call me stubborn. I curled my hands into fists and let out the breath I had been verbosely holding.
"We are in a flat, not this one. It screams of dejection and bitter loneliness…yet in the midst of it, on a solitary bed, your…your fingers are buried deep within my curls, my own fingers cradling your head as if you would break if I let go. Our mouths are sealed together in a quiet passion I was unaware I was capable of…I…it only comes to me on nights I manage to get sleep and…John, I hurt when I wake the next morning."
I was so overwhelmed in sharing that I had not realized I closed my eyes, nor that John had moved towards me. It wasn't till I felt his fingertips tracing my jaw once I had finished speaking that my senses returned full force. My eyes snapped open and look down into his. I uncurled my fists and maneuvered my arms through his to mirror his gentle grasp.
My fingertips grazing the edges of his jaw, the apples of his cheeks, toying with the slight curls at the base of his neck—I've done this before, but that thrill of a first time struck simultaneously. I shifted the teeniest bit and pressed my forehead against his, our eyes still locked together—I could feel his warm breath mingling with my own on each exhale. I could see his pupils slowly dilating as his fingers curled into fists in my hair.
"Is it gone?"
I blinked at his sudden whisper, but I knew to what he was referring. I nodded against him, mirroring the smile that grew on his face. The lingering gaping whole of emptiness and loneliness was filled abruptly with a warmth I was unfamiliar with, but knew I've felt before.
My eyes closed on their own accord as I felt the barest of lips dance along my jaw-line. Actual warmth began to permeate through me as I felt his chest collide with my own as his lips pressed against the corner of my mouth. He was silently asking permission or forcing me to make a move.
Logically I did the only thing I could; I cupped his head between my fingers and attached my lips to his.
::letsoutdeepbreath:: I rewrote this bit about a dozen times before I came up with this chapter. None of the other pieces fit, not like this one. Or so I hope. Do tell me your thoughts! I'm open for all sorts of feedback.
Thank you for being such a wonderful lot of readers! Your alerts, favorites and reviews are what kept me going! :) You all put up with my "mid-young-adult-life-crisis" with delightful well wishes sent my way( those of you that did, you did better than my real life friends and for that, no words could express my gratitude). I also found out(through a moment of complete boredom and a dick move one night, as I googled my username, story title and a few other choice words) that a couple of you linked my story on other sites. I geeked! [To the one who posted on Tumblr, I hope that while my characters seemed a bit OOC and bits were confusing, I hope this remained a good read for you. I really do.] To the one who shared this on The Baker Street Supper Club-The Lake House forum, thank you for allowing me to find other stories that were based off the film. I finished one, and am half through another. It really is great to see how others tweak something and make it their own, and just thank you for thinking this story awesome enough to share! :)
I am no where near being done with this fandom; I just have to finish up my Criminal Minds fic: Hands Clean. I find that while writing more than one story at a time is doable, posting leads to nitpicking which to post first. I will be back with another story, of that I am certain! (I still have to get through season 2! ...I just have to wait till May 'cause I live in the States...oh my lanta am I grateful for youtube!) ;)
Thank you again!