Disclaimer: Don't own any of these characters.

Dancing With the Dark

It's been six days, twelve hours, twenty-seven minutes, and forty-five seconds since he's last seen him, it's too long. John shakes his head, because it hasn't even been a week since he moved out and left Sherlock back at 221B Baker Street. It hasn't even been a whole week, and John is hanging at the end of his rope, as it tightens around his neck, choking him, starving him of air. The feeling only grows worse the more days he stays away, but he can't go back, he just can't go back. John clutches at his hair, sitting on the edge of his single, unmade bed; the straight laced soldier gone by the way side, his tiny hotel room dirty and dark. The breath wheezes out of John's lungs, rattling in his chest like the backfire of a car's engine.

He stays in his room all day, all night, all the time, he hasn't seen the sun in six days, twelve hours, twenty-seven minutes, and forty-five seconds, his skin holding a pale parlor; his once bright blue eyes, now dull and murky like the water in the Thames. The doctor's hair falling limp against his forehead, his head always down, his neck holding a permanent crick in it now. John knows all this, knows that it isn't healthy what he's doing, he is a doctor, but he just can't salvage the energy or will to do anything about it, he got himself in this mess. It's always his fault, he knows that his therapist would tell him that thinking self deprecating thoughts won't help his emotional and mental impasse, but again he doesn't care.

He wonders if Sherlock even spares him a second thought, or if his rapid fire mind even flickers to thoughts of the lone soldier; probably not. John wheezes out another breath, fisting his hair, and tugging at the roots, the pull making a satisfying sting against his scalp. John smiles slightly, relieved that he can still at least feel something, even if it's it dull and broken. His smiles fades, giving way to a mask of blank indifference, his eyes roaming over the debacle his life has turned into, ever since he agreed to live with him, with that maddening, sociopathic, and amazing detective. It's his fault that it ended up this way, it's always his fault.

John sighs, and stands from his bed and strides over to the window, pulling back the curtains a miniscule centimeter, gazing out into the city for the first time in roughly six days; not even a full week. His eyes sting upon the natural light that floods the small gap he's made, he squints, and continues to stare out into the bustling city, watching, waiting, and wishing; wishing that he could just go back, that it wasn't this hard, he should be able to move on, to keep functioning, he's a grown man for god sake.

John crosses the small space of his hotel room (damn the consequences), grabbing his jacket and leaves the dank hole of his new residence; the light outside momentarily blinds him, his eyes unaccustomed to the brightness, even if it is just the minimal light of an overcast, dreary London forecast. John looks down the bustling London foot traffic weaving to and fro, deciding to head south; towards 221B Baker Street. The walk is a good forty-five minutes long, the whole way John keeps his head down, stride determined his thoughts on what he will actually do when he reaches his destination. John can feel his pulse quicken, sweat beading along his hair line, the blood hammering in his ears, he almost turns and heads back to his new digs but decides he has let this go on for too long; he needs to be a man and face his problems head on.

The sun finally begins to peak through the cloud cover by the time John comes to a halt outside his former home, the sunlight washing the withered exterior in a halo of light. John straightens his shoulders, sucks in a deep breath and climbs the few steps up to the door, rapping his knuckles against the ruff wood. He waits, almost tempted to press his ear up against the door to listen to movement on the other side, but refrains. He waits for two minutes, then with an air of relief and mild dejection, turns to head back to the dump of a room he now calls home, when the door is roughly thrust open. John spins on his heels to face the deep mercury eyes of his former flat mate, friend, and something John is afraid to put a name too.

Sherlock for the first time is at a loss for words, he never thought that John would come back, would come back to him, would come back home. The detective clears his throat, but keeps his eyes locked on the ex-soldier, gaze a stormy cloud of grief and contempt. John can feel his palms become slick with sweat, unsure how to proceed, his pre-planned speech wiped from his mind upon seeing Sherlock in the flesh. John can't deny that Sherlock has always had the ability to make him speechless.

"Hi," John mentally scalds himself with his inferior display of articulation. Sherlock's body visibly relaxes, his shoulder dropping, his stance becoming less defensive. John takes all this as good signs, at least Sherlock hasn't slammed the door on him…yet.

"Hello," Sherlock raises an eyebrow in question. "I'm assuming you came here for a reason." It's not a question but a statement, and John nods his head slowly. Sherlock turns from the entry way and climbs the stairs, taking them two at a time; John follows, closing the door behind him.

John hesitates upon entering the sitting room, fighting his body's urge to flee, to run all the way back to his room at the crap hotel, with cracked plaster, peeling wallpaper, and pipes that rattle in the walls, but brings forth his soldier bravery and crosses the threshold back into 221B and back to Sherlock.

Sherlock is reclining against the couch, his violin resting under his chin, his fingers plucking the stiff metal strings. The detective's eyes snap up to John when he enters the room, following the doctor over to his chair (well his old chair), never leaving his form. John sits on the edge of his seat, body hunched over, and hands clasped in front of him, resting against his bent knees, clearly uncomfortable Sherlock deduces (but anyone could see that, no need to be a genius). Sherlock keeps plucking at his violin, wondering when John would break the silence, because Sherlock surely wasn't going too, he wasn't the one at fault here.

John finally picked his head up locking his eyes to Sherlock's, finding the detective's cold mask of indifference plastered onto his features, John wished he could keep his cool and not be so open. John took the opportunity to glance around the flat, everything as it was when he left just six days ago, except for the touch more clutter now present in the room. Sherlock's staccato beat still ringing through the flat and scratching against John's eardrums making the pounding inside the doctor's head thrum faster, but John dare not say a word about the insistent beat.

"I-I don't know what to say," John turns his head back to Sherlock, who at this point has stopped picking at the metal strings of the violin. "I actually came here having planned out what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, but now- now I don't even know where to begin." John's head fell forward, almost resting against his clasped hands. Sherlock remains silent. "Shit Sherlock, I honestly don't know what to say or do to make this better. All I can say is I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, from the bottom of my heart. You have to- no need to believe that, believe me." John's eyes begin to gloss over with unshed tears. Sherlock not a man of emotions couldn't seem to keep them in check when John was around, and with John only a step away, Sherlock felt the dam around his emotions begin to crack.

"John, I know," Sherlock set his violin down next to the arm of the couch, righting himself, "but you also have to understand my hesitance with trusting your words." John felt a tear slide down along his cheek, nodding his head in acceptance.

"I understand; I do." Sherlock felt his heart lurch at the ringing note of dejection coming from John. John lowered his head to rest on his knees, his body bent over, in a fetal like position. Sherlock wanted to reach out comfort John, but decided against it.

"Why?" John lifted his head; tears rolling down his face like a waterfall, his eyelashes glittered with captured tears. Sherlock feels his body heat up and his groin stir. The detective immediately mentally scalds himself on his lack of control, but can't help the surge of desire upon seeing John so vulnerable.

"I-I don't know, It was a stupid and terrible mistake. I honestly never meant for it to happen, ever!" John scooted even further to the edge of his chair, his hands rubbing instantly against one another, his eyes searching Sherlock's frantically. "God Sherlock, it was never supposed to happen. If I could go back and make it so it never happened, I would." Sherlock believed him, but how he wished he could hate John, be able to throw John out of his home, out of his life; but that would never come to fruition, not when it was John.

They sat in silence, neither knowing how to take their conversation further. Fortunately for both men, Mrs. Hudson decided that it was the best time to pop by and check in on the flat. The elderly women's flittering eyes glance over the bullet holes that still littered the walls, the knife holes in the ceilings, and the superfluous clutter that was just the static state of being for 221B; Her eyes landed on John and saw the tear tracks on his face, and Sherlock a look of longing and irritation upon her arrival. She looked back to John gave a small smile, which was not returned.

"I made some biscuits, I'll bring them up and put them on the table," she turned her attention back to Sherlock who just gave her an indignant look, "but don't start thinking it's a regular thing now dears." Mrs. Hudson then turned and fled the room, leaving the men alone again for a few minutes till she returned with some fresh made biscuits, five minutes later.

Both John and Sherlock took a biscuit from the tray that Mrs. Hudson left on the cluttered coffee table. John was glad for the excuse to no longer have to talk, but also wanting to be able to apologize more and to be able to know if Sherlock accepted. They both ate half a biscuit each, placing their respective unfinished biscuits back on the tray, resuming their silent battle. John shifted in his seat, skin clammy and his ears ringing with the thundering of his blood running through his veins.

"He made me choose Sherlock," John's voice was a hoarse whisper, but it seemed to echo throughout the flat. Sherlock narrowed his eyes, his blood boiling.

"No, you made yourself choose." The statement cut through John, stealing the air from his lungs.

"I wish you could understand, I never meant for anything like this to happen, to have this outcome," John looked into Sherlock's eyes, trying to plead with him to understand his side, to be able to grasp why he did what he did.

"John, I was clinically pronounced dead twice," Sherlock's eyes turned icy and his voice was a hard snarl. John physically flinched, burying his head in his hands, not knowing what to say to turn this around. "John, you were toying with Moriarty. What exactly did you expect to happen?"

John's hunched form started to tremor, his hands running up to grab his hair, his body slowly rocking back and forth. Sherlock choked back a sob of his own, partly for John and partly for the memory of that fateful night where they both lost one another. John slowly came back to himself and brought his head up and stared directly through Sherlock, his face flushed and eyes puffy, lips trembling.

"To keep you and Harry safe- to keep him from you and Harry I did what I had to. I never wanted it to hurt you, I was doing it to keep you safe," Sherlock shook his head. John felt himself falling apart; Sherlock was blocking him out, shutting down. "Why can't you understand it from my point of view?" Sherlock made to stand, but John leapt up and grabbed Sherlock by his suit jacket, bringing their body's within a breath of one another.

John's harsh breathing ghosted over Sherlock face, and the detective closed his eyes and just breathed in John's air. Sherlock could smell the cologne that John liked, could smell the London air, and the hint of sandalwood from John's soap of choice. John brought Sherlock the last centimeter forward and closed the gap between their bodies and let his lips brush against Sherlock's; seeking permission. Sherlock opened his eyes and stared at John, his blue orbs pleading him to understand, Sherlock just wasn't sure if he did, or ever could, but he would try.

Sherlock leaned into the kiss, closing his eyes and just allowing himself to feel, tuning out the nagging in his brain that John still wasn't forgiven, that John still had to explain why, and how; but in the moment where their lips came together, all that seemed to slip back to the recesses of his mind. John closed his eyes and applied more pressure, when Sherlock gave him his nonverbal permission, his tongue sweeping across the detective's lips, nipping lightly on his bottom lip.

Sherlock felt his groin stir, and his pulse intensify along with the beads of sweat forming along his forehead. John always had this affect on him, he knew he shouldn't be able to be affected so much by such a simple, plain man, but he is and probably always will be. John let his hands slide from the position on Sherlock suit to his the curls of his hair, threading the strands through his fingers. The scratch of John's blunt nails against Sherlock's scalp made the detective groan low in his throat, sending shivers down the doctor's spine, making John push against Sherlock's lips with increased urgency. The detective opened his mouth to John's searching tongue, their tongues meeting and starting a frantic battle. John pushed Sherlock backwards till his calves ran into the couch. The detective slowly lowered himself down onto the cushions, his body stretched along its length, left leg bent against the back, and his right hanging off the front. John climbed over top of him, their mouths never parting.

John ran his tongue over Sherlock's gums, over the enamel of his teeth, and along the roof of the detective's mouth. Sherlock felt his hips buck upwards on their own volition at the action, a moan escaping his lips; John pushed his hips down to meet Sherlock's, a low groan escaping his lips. They soon broke the connections of their mouths, both greedily sucking air back into their lungs, their eyes locked on each other, both blazing with molten heat. Sherlock made to speak, but John shook his head and began undoing the sleek jacket of Sherlock's suit, letting Sherlock sit up, to help slip off the jacket. Next came Sherlock's dress shirt, Sherlock watching John's face intently as he concentrated on his task; John's fingers worked deftly over the small button, his knuckles grazing the soft skin of Sherlock's abdomen.

The shirt soon joined the jacket on the floor, along with the John's jacket and t-shirt. John ran his hands down Sherlock's chest, abdomen, and sides, letting his fingernails rake along the sensitive flesh. Sherlock arched his back; his fingers digging into the cushions of the couch, John followed his hands journey till they were impeded by a pair of trousers. John brought his eyes back up to Sherlock's, wordlessly asking permission.

"John, please," Sherlock's voice came out deep and gravely, need taking over his body and mind. John hands immediately tore open the fastenings and slide the pair of trousers down Sherlock's long legs, throwing them over to their growing stack of discarded clothes. John sat back on his haunches, admiring Sherlock's body, his beauty, slowly letting his fingers trace down his body, mapping out the contours of his shape. Sherlock allowed himself to open up and let John fingers trace over his skin, watching John intently.

"Too many clothes," John lifted his head and looked back up at Sherlock, who looked so lovely and so fuckable, John felt himself harden immediately. Sherlock's fingers set to work devesting John of the remainder of his clothes, but were thwarted by John's position; John gently stood up and pushed his trousers down leaving only his briefs, a noticeable tenting exclaiming his desire. John climbed back on top of Sherlock, bringing their mouths back together, their tongues gliding and twisting around each other. John's hand grazed down to Sherlock's groin, lightly tracing his index finger over the bulge tenting Sherlock's briefs.

The feather light touches not enough to quell the heat in the detective's lower body. Sherlock let out an impatient groan, pushing his hips upward into john's touch, but John would follow, never allowing the detective to gain more pressure, earning a deep throated growl from Sherlock. John broke away from their kiss and smirked down at the detective, who in turn brought his hands down to grasp John none too gently through his underwear. John gasped and dropped his head onto Sherlock's shoulder and returning the favor, gripping Sherlock's cock through his briefs.

"John, I need more. I need you John." Sherlock's words thrummed through the doctor's mind, his hand stilling its movements, his eyes searching the detective's, seeing the burning lust radiating through them, and John sat up and removed his briefs, Sherlock doing the same to his. John felt the familiar surge of fear, lust, and adrenaline course through him whenever he was with Sherlock, but they were just missing-

"Sherlock what about lube?" John blushed slightly at the word, it always felt dirty when he spoke it. Sherlock reached his hand down and under the couch, bringing back up a small bottle of the lubricant. John just cocked an eyebrow, "do I want to know?" Sherlock smirked, but said nothing else on the matter.

John took the bottle out of Sherlock's grip and popped open the cap, squeezing a generous amount onto his fingers, closing the cap and placing it down on the floor. John circled his index finger around Sherlock's opening, meeting his eyes, upon getting a curt nod of assent from Sherlock; he gently pushed one finger into the detective. Sherlock sucked in a breath of air, John stilled his finger, keeping his eyes focused on Sherlock's face. Slowly when he felt Sherlock relax, John started a slow rhythm of push and pull with his finger, soon adding a second. John began stretching Sherlock, his fingers gliding in and out of the detective. Sherlock couldn't help the string of moans and "John" that spilled from his lips.

John finally removed his fingers, grabbing the bottle of lube he placed on the floor and squeezing more out, coating his cock. John bent Sherlock's leg, the back of his knees resting against the insides John's elbows. John lined up his member to Sherlock's opening, pausing to wordlessly ask if it was still ok, and silently saying they could stop now if Sherlock wanted. The detective nodded, he needed his John so badly, only John could stoke the fire raging inside of him.

John slowly pushed into Sherlock, gasping at the tight heat enveloping him, Sherlock moaning loudly. John started with short shallow thrust, not wanting to hurt Sherlock, and trying to not come just from the tightness encasing him. Sherlock seeking more friction, more pressure began to buck backwards into John's thrusts; a chorus of moans filling the air, slowly rising in volume.

"John, more. Please," John bit his lip; Sherlock begging was always his undoing. John obliged though and began a more forceful rhythm, grabbing Sherlock by his hips and driving forward while Sherlock pushed backwards to meet him.

"God Sherlock," John's breathing becoming more ragged and thoughts incomprehensible. "Sherlock I- Sherlock I love you." John couldn't stop the flow of tears the left the corner of his eye, or the continuous stream of 'I love you' that poured from his lips. Sherlock couldn't stop the same phrase to issue from his lips, or the slight sting of tears that clung to the corner of his eyes, unwilling to fall.

John's thrust became more erratic and his breathing coming out in short rasps, Sherlock's moans increasing in pitch; his neck arching back, till both men came. Sherlock calling out John's name and John calling out Sherlock's. John rested his head against Sherlock Shoulder, trying to catch his breath, inhaling the scent of sweat, sex, and formaldehyde, which seemed to cling to Sherlock like a second skin. John felt long fingers card through his short hair, massaging his scalp. John nuzzled his forehead against Sherlock's shoulder, enjoying the gentle affection from the detective. Both stayed on the couch enjoying the closeness of the other, but knowing it would all end soon.

"We can get away, there is still time you know," John looked back over his shoulder at Sherlock. Sherlock's hair was still rumpled, his briefs peeking through the hem of his trousers, leaning against the frame of the doorway to the sitting room.

"You don't believe that, you of all people know that's impossible," John answered; a sad smile smeared across his lips. Sherlock nodded in acknowledgment. John walked back over to stand in front of the detective, tilting his head up to capture Sherlock's lips.

The detective brought his hands up and grabbed the back of John's head, deepening the kiss, biting and licking along John's lips, making John moan in appreciation. Unfortunately John pulled away, his eyes a mix of longing and anguish; Sherlock returned the sentiment. John took two steps back, trying to regain his resolve, which he couldn't get being so close to Sherlock. He gave one last longing look to the detective and headed down the stairs, but was stopped by the sound of Sherlock's voice.

"What does he make you do?" Sherlock's voice sounded distant and hopeless, his eyes curious and searching.

"You don't want to know Sherlock," John made to open the door to 221B for the last time, but again was stopped by the tenor of Sherlock's voice.

"It's not like what we have, is it?" The detective's voice cracking a little at the end, "It won't be what we had." John shook his head.

"It will never be like what we had," John clutched the door knob and stepped back out into the London cityscape.

John closed the door behind him, walking out into the flow of people walking along the sidewalk. John started back to his crappy room, back to a life he didn't want, but a life he had to live to keep the one's he cared for out of harm, back to Moriarty and his retched life. The sun's rays that had peeked through the blanket of clouds, slowly started to disappear behind the grey and gloom once again.

FIN