Title: Come Home
Author: Rewrittengirl (or rather Leffie)
Fandom: Sherlock (TV series)
Wordcount: 4,118 words.
Rating: T for teen.
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Sally Donovan, Mycroft Holmes, DI Lestrade, maybe Anderson later.
Warning(s): Too much angst for some to handle, heartbreak, death, sadness, despair, clinically insane... ness.
Contains: Sadness, depression, angst, goodbyes, heartbreak, HAPPYTIEMS! 8DDD ... No, not really. Well, maybe a little. Oh, and Sherlock realizing his feelings for John. That's good! 8D
Notes: So this is my new and very sad fanfiction. This is the longest chapter I've ever written, so I'm pretty proud of it. This fic will be relatively short, number of chapters-wise, due to how I have it planned out. It won't be as epic in scale as Written in the Stars, though the content might be a bit more epic. And more angsty. This is THE OPPOSITE of Written. Just to warn you. This is also told in Sherlock's first person POV, so tell me how I do! ^^ Enjoy (crying that is, maybe this chapter, maybe not). This type of story has probably been done to pieces, but I wanted to write my own version.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock Holmes, nor any of the characters mentioned in this fic. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the characters, and the BBC, Steven Moffat, and Mark Gatiss own the modernized version. If I owned the BBC version, Holmes would have kissed Watson in a dark alleyway in thanks for saving his life. Episode one. :3
Summary: When John is redeployed to Afghanistan, Sherlock can barely cope, especially since his newfound feelings for John have overpowered him. Video chats and phonecalls aren't enough, but when the doorbell rings, Sherlock's world melts down in seconds. Can an unasked question mend him, and can he ever be whole again?
He told me on a Tuesday.
"Sherlock?" he said weakly.
I paid no attention. John must have been in one of those moods where he sees fit to try and con me. "Not now, John, I'm working."
I was working. I was trying to come up with a cure for diabetes. Simple stuff, really. Not that I liked to have my attention diverted for even a second.
But then a glance up told me John was genuinely worried. About what I deduced from the slip of paper he clutched in his trembling hand. I also deduced the contents of the letter by noticing the emblem in the left corner. It was the symbol of Her Majesty's Army.
I felt myself sit up and give him my full audience. "Oh my God."
I'm sure there was some sort of disbelief gracing my features. Sadness also. Anger, yes. And then some.
John opened his mouth to speak, but I cut him off.
"Yes, no. I will not have it."
My companion huffed, and gave out a dry, cynical laugh. "I doubt you'd have much say in the matter, Sherlock. I have orders."
"Damn your orders. Mycroft will see to it that they are destroyed, I assure you." I smiled widely, pleased with my simple solution. I rubbed my hands and turned back to my work.
However, John stepped forward and caught my eye. I sighed and turned back to him.
"It's not that easy, Sherlock," he said quietly, sitting down next to me at the kitchen table where I was conducting my experiment.
"Yes it is. Mycroft is the British government, you know."
"Yes, I know," he said in frustration.
I took a moment to examine John, as I often did.
He was reserved at the moment, and sought to avoid my eyes. I suspected they would betray his true thoughts if they were to look directly at me. But of course his shyness revealed all I needed to know from him. He licked his lips and cleared his throat multiple times as we sat in silence. Most of all, he was twitching uncontrollably.
Oh God. This was not good.
"You want to go." It wasn't a question.
But John answered anyway. "Yes I do."
He still avoided my eyes. Coward.
"John, look at me."
He complied immediately, knowing better than to ignore a command like that. Good man. No wonder Moriarty had thought him a pet.
But he wasn't my pet. He was John. M-... My John. My John, whose eyes were moist with tears and regret. But also wanting.
"Why would you want to go?" I asked. I was becoming desperate.
"Because I..." he started. I didn't have to look to know his fist had wrapped itself tightly around the paper.
"They can't make you go back. You were wounded."
"I know I was... But I've gotten better. I don't use my cane anymore. I'm not depressed... It was only a matter of time."
"They don't need you! I'm positive there are other army doctors willing to go back."
John looked down at the paper in his hands as if it would give him the answer, give him something to say. "They want me. They consider me one of the best."
"Well, you are the best," I scoffed. "That doesn't mean you'll go back. You're my doctor now."
He rolled his eyes. "Now that's just selfish, Sherlock! What about all those other people out there in Afghanistan or Iraq, all those dying soldiers and wounded civilians. Don't you think they need my help too?"
I didn't answer for precisely 15 seconds. "You know that I am a naturally selfish being."
John groaned and moved to get up. "Forget about it, Sherlock."
I grabbed his wrist. His reaction was unacceptable.
"John, stop," I commanded. No, that wasn't right. He wasn't a pet, he wasn't my dog. What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking, and yet I was. I always thought about what I said, but was there ever really any meaning behind my words?
"Forgive me," I began, quite uncharacteristically I might add. The words felt wrong leaving my lips, but they would have to do. "That was insensitive of me. I'm sorry."
John stopped and turned back to me. That was good. That was great.
"Well that's a change of pace. Feeling manipulative, are we?"
"W-What, no!" I stood ruefully. "And what's that supposed to mean anyway?"
He rolled his eyes, throwing his hands in the air and huffing. "As if you don't know. You're trying to make me feel guilty about leaving! Newsflash! The world doesn't revolve around Sherlock Holmes! I know, it's a shock for you, but you better damn well get it through your thick head that this is what I want, and I'm going with or without your consent!"
"How could you want to leave? You can't leave!"
"How do you KNOW?" he shouted. Strange... John never shouted at me. He was always so patient.
"I know, because you need me, John, and I need you."
I didn't shout back. I didn't like to shout at John. It was a waste of energy... Yes, that was my reason.
John leaned against the table, clearly trembling with frustration. I could visibly see the anger leaking out of him.
"You don't need me, Sherlock. You were fine before we ever met. That won't change with my absence."
I was silent. We had both gradually come to a stand-still, John shaking with madness and me... Well let's not get into how I felt, for I do so hate dealing with my feelings.
Let's just address John's comment, and how wrong it was. Yes, I do need you John, and no, I wasn't fine before, and yes, it will all change. You idiot.
Finally, after a long and positively robust silence of both parties coming to their respective senses, I took a single step to envelope John in my arms.
I was not against hugging John. Or Mrs. Hudson. I only had an aversion to touch concerning other people, because other people didn't matter. Not like Mrs. Hudson, the old bat. Not like my John.
I hugged my best friend then. Someone looking in on us might think how outrageous it was for me to be touching someone, but the thing about me is that I never do anything quite as expected, or that isn't necessary. So, conclusively, the hug was something that was necessary, that was needed.
"You won't be here to remind me to sleep, you know."
"... Or brush my teeth."
John was quiet and I thought for a moment I'd crushed the air out of him. But then I felt a tremor coming from him, then a strangled sound, like he was choking. Alarmed, I released him slightly.
Then I realized he was laughing.
"I know, Sherlock! I know!"
I couldn't help it when my face stretched into a smile. I let go of him completely and proceeded to laugh with him.
For a moment I couldn't take my eyes off him. His eyes gleamed with joyous moisture, a brighter blue than I'd ever seen them. He was grinning from ear to ear, and I found his hands clutching my arms, which were still holding his for balance. It was a warm feeling, laughing with him. I could never laugh like this with anyone else. I didn't trust anyone else with the sound of my laughter.
After a while, our gaiety died down, and we just stood contemplating each other. No doubt John was trying to analyze me analyzing him, but he didn't realize that I didn't need to. I knew exactly what he was thinking and feeling. And it was like hell trying to accept it.
I asked him when he was leaving. He said two weeks.
I knew immediately they would fly by like a minute, and then he'd be gone.
"You know we could video chat, if you like. If you need help on a case..." he began, but then he looked uncomfortable. He fidgeted in my arms. "Or if you just need someone to talk to."
I let go of his arms finally, realizing I had over stepped my boundaries. That wasn't something I often realized myself. John had to be the one to tell me. But my current situation had my on red alert, I presumed. "Yes, well, the skull is terrible company anyway."
That made him smile, which was good. Then he frowned, which was not good.
"I'll be home soon. I promise."
I'm sure my eyes narrowed. "You can't promise that."
"Yes I can." He leaned against the table and crossed his arms. "Because you're right. You do need me."
I felt his unspoken "I need you" more than I registered his actual words, and that was good enough for me.
I nodded numbly. The conversation seemed finished, so I turned back to my work. "Right then. Well, I should just leave you to prepare. Going back to the battlefield and all, I'm sure you're a bit rusty. Target practice, perhaps? I'm positive you don't particularly need it, but you can't ever bet too sure with these thi-"
"How 'bout some Chinese?"
I looked up at him and smiled. "God, I thought you'd never ask."
The Chinese was good that night. The food was awful (I was forced to eat), but John and me in a Chinese restaurant was good.
We didn't talk about it for the rest of the night, or the week for that matter. I continued with my work, and John continued to be my thoroughly reliable assistant. I think, in the back of both our minds, we were "cherishing" each other's company, as John might put it. I would never admit that to anyone, and it took great effort to admit it to myself.
John and I were now at a crime scene. The victim had been brutally shot down by the force of a machine gun, and John made an offhand comment that he'd be seeing a lot more of this soon in Afghanistan. I thought nothing of it, and mumbled a sort of agreement.
But of course it had to be then that I realized the gravity of his situation.
"Oh my God!" Sally Donovan exclaimed when John had told the confused taskforce that he was to be deployed next week. I hadn't realized Sally liked John that much. Honestly.
So the hug was unexpected, and when she brought me (the freak, remember?) into it I nearly shouted at her for being so ridiculous. I said as much, and she looked at me as if I was stupid. Me! Stupid!
"Sally, don't..." John protested, but he was too late.
The slap was unexpected, as well.
"You insensitive bastard!" she started. "Of course a freak like you wouldn't register that your own best mate is leaving to risk his life to fight for his country! Do you have any concept of how dangereous it is over there? That he may not even come home?"
I hadn't registered the slap, or her steadily growing shouting. I did comprehend, however, two things: that I hadn't even thought about the words "may not even come home" until that moment, and that John had been trying to hold her back, or perhaps protect me from the truth.
"Sally, stop it! Of course he knows all that! Calm down!"
But I didn't know that, John. Or perhaps I did, and I was denying myself the pleasure of coming to terms with it. Didn't you know that?
I think it all settled in that he was really leaving me when he cooked the night before he left.
It was... rather unexpected. Lots of unexpected things were happening to me lately, and it was all frustrating, to say the least. I always expected things. I was too intellectual not to.
When John called me out of my boredom with "Dinner, Sherlock!" I'd expected take-out or some other simple meal.
It seemed I'd been oblivious that night. I hadn't even realized that he'd spent the entire day cleaning the kitchen preparing a three course meal.
But my obtuseness didn't bother him, it seemed. He looked rather pleased to see my expression upon entering the kitchen, and I wanted to strangle him for being so damn cheery when I realized what was going on.
Of course it was all unexpected when I'd been bored all day. I'd spent most of my time napping on the sofa (shocking, I know). The rest I had wasted away playing the violin and shooting the wall (not at the same time, but that would have been quite an interesting experiment). I suppose I was also oblivious to John's begging me to keep it down because he was concentrating on cooking. If I'd registered his pleading at all, it had been deleted on the premise of being trite and uninteresting.
One might ask why I hadn't spent the day with John, or at least demanded that I spend it with him, and when he wouldn't, I would have bothered him about it while he was cooking. The truth, the painfully obvious truth, was that I'd deleted the date he was to leave from my memory until he reminded me. I suppose I wanted to pretend that he wasn't really leaving, but unfortunately, I couldn't. Reality, that obnoxious and frightful entity that it was, was screaming in my face.
Now I wished I'd payed more attention, wished I remembered. I wouldn't be so bored if I'd been curious to what he was doing. I could have even helped, but I was stuck with him imagining him slaving over a hot stove, like a prim little housewife. It was an entertaining image, but disheartening, as well.
He now stood at the farther end of the kitchen table, opposite me. His smile was large and inviting, his eyes sparkling with expectance. "I just, uh, wanted to do something special, since we won't be seeing each other for a while... After tomorrow."
He rubbed a hand through his hair as he laughed. I hated that hair. He'd cut it yesterday, in accordance with army regulations. It reminded me of cold and unmoving John, before we met. Before he was my John. even the gray speck was gone. How I loved that gray speck.
"This is wonderful, John," I said, before my thoughts betrayed me. I forced a smile on my face, even though I was internally screaming "Don't leave me alone, don't go, don't go and fight that war all alone, that has nothing to do with us, stay and cook for me. I'll eat whatever you like, as long as you stay and cook it."
That train of thought repeated over and over as we ate together, presumably for the last time before he was ripped from my life like broken glass. Clever as I was, it was easy for me to pretend, to smile and act like I was complaining about eating because it slowed me down (in truth it was the best food I'd ever had in my entire life), easy to listen to John's stories of Afghanistan and his excitement of going back, easy to put on a mask that said "I'm happy for you" when I was really dying inside.
'Good God, John... Don't you know I don't know what I'm going to do without my my blogger?' I thought as I offered to wash the dishes. John was stunned, as I'd never washed dishes in my life. He wasn't sure I knew how, and neither was i. But really, I just wanted him to get some rest. He'd been working all day cooking and cleaning, just for me, when I should have been cooking and cleaning for him. How utterly considerate of me. Oh God was I developing a conscience? That was most dreadful indeed.
Wait... Oh, of course. That's right.
John was my conscience.
And he was leaving for Afghanistan.
Tomorrow came far too soon.
My doctor couldn't take much with him. So packing had been simple. Simple that I convince him to let me do it, so that he could spend time preparing himself mentally for the war ahead. He protested, but I did it anyway.
So now we were in the cab early, heading for the airport. It was a silent ride until John said, "Sherlock, where is your scarf?"
"I lost it. No matter. I can get another one."
"Ah. It's just... strange seeing you without it."
I nodded curtly. The scarf was safe. I made sure of that.
That was when we arrived. I didn't want to leave the saftey of the cab, with John inside of course, for anything.
But he opened his door automatically and stepped out, so I was obliged to follow.
I walked behind him for once. It was incredible how completely subdued I'd become over these past two weeks. I'd eaten much more recently than I probably had in my entire life, just so I could laugh with him and spend time with him at the table. He enjoyed that, didn't he?
But he'd been steadily more distant with each passing day, and it wasn't until the night before that I felt I had his undivided attention.
Now I was becoming his dog, like he'd formerly been mine. I suppose this was a side effect of the prospect of being without him. Has it made me a bit of a stalker, or at least overly clingy? Clingy doesn't suit me, its far to sticky and messy, like silly emotions or crap telly.
What did John do to me that made my walls crumble? I'd never felt the overwhelming sensation of sorrow before, or feared being alone. Alone had been a comfort before, now it seemed foreign and strange, like an echo in a cave. Like darkness swallowing me whole.
No no. That's not it. Being alone wasn't the problem, not now, not when it doesn't matter. It was the thought of going home to 221b Baker Street without him that drove me positively bonkers inside.
"Sherlock, you alright?"
I suppose I'd been staring off into space. I hadn't even realized we'd reached the terminal.
I focused back on my John's face. Soon he'd be Afghanistan's John. What would he be like when he came back home to me once again? Would he be the war hardened veteran he'd been when I'd first met him? Would he be scarred mentally, and never recover? Would I ever see my John again?
Useless questions are useless.
"Yes, I'm fine," I said. he looked like he wanted to hug me. I wasn't ready for his goodbye yet. "You'll... You'll um... You'll call as soon as you land?"
He nodded with his typical reassuring smile. "First chance I get."
"Calls are expensive from Afghanistan, though. You don't have to call. I mean, I'm not more important that receiving your duties, you know."
I took a deep breath and forced a smile. No no no no no...! I would not cry. I never cry! I'll see myself hanged before I let a single drop of moisture fall in front of him. I will see him soon. Just a few months, and he'll be on leave, I know it. I do.
"It's a shame your sister couldn't be here."
"Yes, well, she was finalizing the divorce today. I'll call her when I get there, too."
"Mycroft too? He's taken a liking to you, you know. Heaven knows why he has any interest in a friend of mine, other than to protect me. But he genuinely likes you, so it must be different. So you'll call him."
"I'll call him too."
"And Lestrade? The taskforce, too. Sally seemed particularly upset about your leaving."
"Them too, Sherlock. I'll call everyone."
I nodded quickly. Stalling was quickly becoming my favorite pastime. John knew that too. I could care less if he called any of them, so long as he called me.
"Sherlock, I have to go now."
We were really just standing there, now. I didn't want to hug him, because then it would really mean goodbye.
So I just stood there and observed him. I'd observed him many times throughout the course of your friendship. But now I wanted to store this image of him away in my rather large and organized brain. I backed it up, then I made copies of the back up, then I set it as my "desktop" so to speak. I placed the image in every file of my brain, so that whatever I opened, I would see John's face staring up at me in understanding, smiling and sad.
"I'll miss you," the image said. Then I realized it wasn't the image, but the real John speaking.
His smile was still unwavering. You're a fool John Watson. A bloody fool. Stop smiling like that, you're giving me a headache.
"I'll miss your company," I avoided, as I usually do.
Then he hugged me. Oh, God, don't do that, don't go, don't leave me, stay please, stay! Don't fight a war for me, I don't need you to fight for me, stay take care of me, pick up my dirty laundry, cook for me, remind me to sleep, force me to sleep. Just don't leave, John, don't leave me alone, I don't want to be alone, not when I know now what it means to have a friend.
I inhaled his scent, that musky, warm smell that was nothing but home to me. He smelled like home. He was home.
All the while, I didn't let on how hard I wanted to cry. I don't think he even noticed me screaming at him from the inside, and that was just fine by me. He would be shocked, perhaps hate me for being so selfish. But I was a selfish person.
Then he let go of me, and I felt my whole being collapse.
He nodded to me once, and saluted. Dammit John, don't salute! Don't remind me that you're theirs now, and not mine.
His bag was in his hand, and he turned away. The terminal swallowed him whole.
I wasted no time in leaving the confining space of the building.
Soon I found myself on the runway, and I watched as his plane began to take off.
There was John's face in the window, settling into his comfortable seat. And here was me, standing out in the cold air, the concrete barely holding me up.
The aeroplane was gaining speed, and I paid no mind to the people trying to stop me.
"Come home!" I shouted through the tears I only now allowed to fall. I shouted over and over, hoping to God he heard me.
Next to the plane, following its path. The expanse of field didn't stop me. But there was a gate up ahead which would prevent me from going further.
So I reached it too soon, and I stopped running.
Now the better half of me was on his way to a war.
And I was the half that was too much of a coward to really say goodbye.
"Goodbye!" I shouted stupidly to the disappearing speck. "Goodbye! Come home! Be safe! … Have fun? CALL ME! TEXT ME! SAVE ME!"
I was stuck, the words not forming properly on my tongue. There was a name to this feeling, I know it. What if this emotion was an illusion, and I was just weighed down by stress and resentment toward my loneliness? I wanted to sink to the ground from the pressure against my heart, the pressure that shouldn't exist because the heart was only an organ, not a mental entity. I kept forgetting that, deleting that fact in the favor of the more appealing explanation, the one that reassured me John was safe, John was whole, John was mine. That damn emotion that I finally let roar. Had it really been that suppressed all this time, and it was only now, when it was too late to tell him, that I felt it and could admit it to myself that I felt it?
It was devastating.
I couldn't say it... Could I? Through my screams and sobbing and banging against the fence? I wasn't myself... I needed to calm down. I wasn't Sherlock Holmes anymore. I was someone else, in another time, in a movie, in a song, in a story.
I was a man who couldn't even say it to John Watson's face.
"I... I LOVE YOU!"
So yeah, there's my long ass first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it, and I really hope I got Sherlock's POV down pat. I hope he wasn't OOC at all, or anything, though he might be, I dunno. I'm much better at John, I think, but you be the judge.
So my lovelies, read and review and fav and alert! You know you want to! You know you want to see what happens next! 8D
Till next time!