AN: First in a series of four one-shots all set in the same verse. Each fic will be based on a different poem. This takes place post TGG

For those of you waiting on Catnip for Crazies, first chapter should be out sometime this weekend!

Disclaimer: Not Moffat, Gattis, Doyle, or ee cummings.


As much as it pains him to admit, Sherlock does not understand.

Sherlock has been offered excellent advice in this matter, on more than a few occasions, all without variations. There is unanimous agreement on one fact alone: Sherlock Holmes is heartless.

But according to Moriarty, Sherlock has a heart.

Sherlock does not feel. He experiences boredom, elation, excitement, and disappointment over the course of a case, but never anything in relation to another human being other than irritation or frustration.

Sherlock reviews the facts again, surprised to find that his memories of the night are saturated with a cold, clinical detachment he does not usually feel at the culmination of a case. It is entirely unexpected, especially considering how challenging and exciting the entire game had been.

Sherlock wraps the orange blanket he had acquired at the pool a little tighter around himself. While no longer wet, he still feels damp and cold, as if the London weather has somehow found a way inside his chest. He is shaking, shivering, and he must be cold because that is the only logical explanation.

The burns and scrapes he earned in the explosion have been attended to, and he has given Lestrade his statement. All that remains is figuring out exactly what it is he should be afraid of losing if continues pursuing Moriarty as planned.

Still wrapped in the blanket, Sherlock makes his way to John's room in the hospital. Being around John helps Sherlock's synapses fire faster in a way cocaine never could. Even when the doctor is asleep, or in this case, unconscious, there is something about his physical presence that is conducive to thought.

Sherlock stops short. Pinned to John's chest, the long point of the needle embedded within his skin, is a sheet of paper. Sherlock recognizes it at once – it has been ripped from one of his poetry volumes. Another message.

The detective carefully removes the pin, ignoring the way his hand vibrates slightly as he takes in the red liquid staining the sharp point. He places it carefully on the table, knowing Moriarty will not have been that careless, but you can never be certain.

The words on the page mean less and less every time grey eyes dash over the page, and Sherlock can feel a barrier, resistance at the edge of his consciousness. If he can just push through, maybe he will understand, maybe it will all make sense…

The sensation of a serrated blade plunged into his stomach, pulling and twisting and winding his organs like strands of pasta as John appears at the pool. The dizzying, giddying relief when it isn't betrayal, followed by the sensation, not unlike asphyxiation or drowning when it is understood that he is strapped to a bomb. It feels as if every part of him has been replaced with lead as John risks his life, not understanding that it is more important to Sherlock than his own. The sensation of weightlessness when it seems it is all over. The utter disappointment in himself, because John should not have to die for his mistakes, should not be the cost of his hubris.

Sherlock reads the words one more time.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-ee cummings

The world tilts and darkens, fades to black as every fact Sherlock thought he knew about himself is consumed by the gravity of the man in front of him, the man who has become the center of the universe. John presence twists and changes all the things Sherlock was before.

John is why Sherlock tries, why Sherlock read up on astronomy as stupid and pointless as it is. John makes Sherlock care.

When he opens his eyes, he understands.

There is a secret he has kept from everyone. From Mycroft, from John, especially from himself. Moriarty has discovered this secret. He is sharing the secret with Sherlock, because it wouldn't have hurt as much if he didn't know what he had lost.

John has Sherlock's heart. A heart Moriarty has promised to destroy.

Sherlock will not allow that to happen. Will not ever allow that to happen. He may destroy himself in the process, but he will keep John safe.

Sherlock allows himself two minutes to bask in these newfound feelings, to trace his fingers over John's face, to memorize how he smells, how he feels, how he tastes. Two minutes to experience his heart for the first time.

Precisely one-hundred and twenty seconds later, he presses a gentle kiss to John's forehead.

When John wakes, they tell him Sherlock Holmes died as a result of injuries sustained in the explosion.

Dr. Watson believes them for 94,608,000 of the darkest seconds of his life.