A/N: Here it is, my first attempt at slash. Your coments are welcome, so please let me know what you think. Contains a mild sex scene and it'll be a four-part story.
This is based on Adele's song Someone Like You.
Thanks go to LittlePippin76 for her support with this :-)
I heard that you're settled down.
That you found a girl and you're married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you.
As the train had slowed down to Canterbury West, Sherlock Holmes began to feel a sharp pain in his stomach. He knew it was nervousness, and probably exhaustion too, but he dismissed the thought as he stepped carefully onto the platform. The sun was shining and high in the sky. Sherlock took a deep breath and closed his eyes, allowing his memory to inform him of the route he was to take.
As he walked down the quiet streets, he began to compare his observations with that of his imagination; the memory he'd built up over the past few years. He hadn't been far off. Granted, the houses were slightly closer together than he had pictured, the birds didn't sing as loudly, or the sun shine didn't shine so bright, but Sherlock was sure that it was a happy place to live. He was sure that John was happy there.
He thought of John as he walked slowly, thinking of John's smile and his contagious laugh at inappropriate moments. That was something Sherlock knew his imagination wouldn't have distorted. And it was something which five years wouldn't erase; well four years, five months and twenty-six days to be precise.
Sherlock came to a reluctant stop outside Number 17; a moderately large detached house, with bay windows at the front. The front door was painted red, with boasting silver numerals, shining proudly. This house was loved. Further down the street, Sherlock could hear a pair of children, squealing wildly in their chase. He gave a difficult swallow and walked along the garden path until he reached the front door. He resented his hand for trembling as it reached for the silver knocker.
From the depths of the house, a small yap of a dog could be heard followed by a child's giggling. Sherlock felt suddenly afraid. Should he just turn around and walk away? What if he was caught half way down the path? He was certain that John would be surprised to see him, almost as certain as he was that John would be unimpressed at seeing him. As he thought of John and his possible reactions, Sherlock realised he'd wasted his opportunity to escape. The security chain was being drawn back from the other side of the door, and a muffled female voice could be heard calling further into the house.
"Monty, that's enough! Jack, I've told you you're not to go near the front door, out of the way." The tone was firm but warm. Sherlock felt another wave of panic rise in his chest. It hadn't occurred to him that someone other than John would answer the door. He'd deliberately chosen to arrive at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, so that if John was working as a G.P he'd have finished work, and if he was working a late shift at a hospital then it would be a while before he'd have to set off. The plan had clearly failed. A woman was answering the door. Of course, he knew John had a family now, but in Sherlock's mind they were imaginary, and therefore unable to open the door. But the door had been imaginary too. It was all becoming too real for him. He wished it wasn't so hot. Forcing down his panic, he adopted a nervous smile and was greeted by a pretty, flushed face. Brown eyes looked at him curiously.
"Hello. Can I help you?"
Sherlock brain worked quickly, thinking all of the things he could possibly say; that he was looking for a specific street or that he'd lost his dog. Unfortunately, his mouth said the words he'd wanted to say for so long.
"I'm looking for John Watson."
Sherlock noticed the woman relax slightly in the door frame, and she brushed her blonde fringe from her forehead.
"John's still at work...He'll be back any minute," she added quickly, seeing the despondent look on Sherlock's face. "Was he expecting you?"
Yes; four years, five months and twenty six days ago. Sherlock shook his head.
"No. No, sorry. Maybe I should have called first. I'm an old friend. I... used to be his friend. I need to speak with John, it's rather important."
"Ok." The woman stepped back, with a friendly smile. "You're more than welcome to wait."
Sherlock nodded numbly, feeling agitated at the extended wait for John. He wanted this day to be over, so he could run back to his room in Baker Street and never look back. The front door was closed behind him, and he shuffled past the young springer spaniel that was looking mischievous in the hall.
"Come through, we're in the garden."
Sherlock was unsurprised to find another person – a woman – sat at a patio table. If there hadn't been someone else around, Sherlock would have had a serious talk to John about allowing his wife to let strange men into her home while she was alone. He supposed John wouldn't appreciate the tone. It was irrelevant. He let it pass.
"This is our neighbour, Belinda. Belinda this is a friend of John's – I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."
"Nice to meet you."
It was clear from her expression that John had never mentioned him. He wasn't sure if that hurt or not. The neighbour, Belinda, bounced a toddler on her knee. The child was wearing a lemon coloured sun dress with a matching hat. Her chubby legs dangled off Belinda's knee.
"Can I get you a drink Sherlock?"
"No, thank you."
"Really? Not some water? It's hot today."
Sherlock just nodded, disinterested, but a glass of water was placed in front of him anyway. A stray drop rolled down the glass, darkening the wooden table. He took a tentative sip. It wasn't London water, and therefore tasted funny, but he thought it best not to mention it.
"Thank you," he smiled up at John's wife. It suddenly occurred to him that he didn't know her name. Or rather, that he must have deleted it from his memory. Had he known her name before?
"So, how do you know John?" Belinda asked.
"Oh. We used to live together."
"In London?" John's wife asked curiously.
"Yes," Sherlock said slowly, wondering what other questions this would provoke. Fortunately, both women were distracted by the squeal of a three year old boy, from the bottom of the garden. He dangled a plastic spade in one hand, and a muddy patch of soil covered the front of his t-shirt.
"Oh, Jack. For goodness sake. Look at the state of you."
Sherlock was unsure of why she was smiling as she said this. The child was filthy. He looked at the boy's round face, and was suddenly overcome by the thought that this was John's son.
"Kids, hey?" Belinda said and the women laughed. Sherlock nodded his agreement. He didn't know what it meant.
"Right Marie, I'd better be off. I've left Neil putting up the paddling pool with Emily. It'll all end in tears. I'll see you tomorrow."
Belinda passed the young girl to John's wife – Marie, Sherlock had noted – and headed back into the house with a wave.
"Where's Daddy?" Marie asked the girl. The child gurgled back.
"How old are they?" Sherlock asked. It surprised him that he was genuinely interested.
"Jack will be four at Christmas and Alice is 18 months."
An awkward silence fell between them. Sherlock watched Jack digging up the flower bed, an intrigued look upon his face. He looked so much like John at that moment that it took Sherlock's breath away.
"I should go." He rose suddenly, feeling dizzy from the heat.
"No, no. John will be back any moment. I promise you." She tucked a blonde strand of hair behind one ear and Sherlock has a sudden image of that hair splayed out on a pillow beside John as he slept beside her. He looked away quickly. "Look, I'm going to put Alice down inside, it's too hot for her really. I'll be back in a moment. Please stay."
Sherlock simply nodded and was left alone at the wooden table. He observed the garden. The grass was green, but trimmed very short, and several flowers grew from various borders. The garden was very secluded, and the tall oak tree at the bottom provided some shelter. John deserved a home like this. Sherlock's thoughts were suddenly interrupted as he felt a pair of small eyes upon him.
"Hi," Jack Watson said with a beaming smile.
Sherlock blinked down at him.
"Uh...Hello," he replied quietly. Jack giggled at the word and ran off in the direction of the house.
Sherlock ran his hands over his face. He was tired. Very tired. He couldn't remember the last time he'd slept. The past few months had aged him considerably. He felt ill. Sherlock shook the thoughts from his head. He didn't want to go there, not until John had arrived at least.
As that very thought crossed his mind, Sherlock heard the sound of the front door open and close. John was home.