A/N: I'm not entirely sure what got into me, because I'm not feeling particularly depressed, but I wanted to work on my first person and present tense skills, and when I did, this is what came out. 0-o Telling, I suppose. This is the first time I've tried writing in first person, so if it sucks hard, tell me and I'll be sure to avoid that in the future. :) I don't see this as slash, but hey, I'm not you am I?
I never look myself in the eye.
I never really look anyone in the eye, but especially not myself. I never did. For years I wondered about it, why I couldn't look in my own eyes; why I was so bloody different. What was it? I have nothing to be afraid of from myself; this is all foolishness. I'm just as good as them. A right sight better than most, if truth be told.
We all hated him…
Too bloody true. I'm cleverer than all of them put together. But not clever enough. Not enough to be normal, not enough to be able to act like them. Is that the difference? Once again, I look in the mirror; I still can't meet my own eyes.
Hey look! The freak's coming…
I lied to them, of course. Made them think it didn't matter. I told myself it didn't; why should I give a damn what they say, after all? I'm ten times smarter than any of them are. So why don't I believe myself? Why do I still remember what they say, years after I would have deleted anything else?
Because it's true. All of it. That's what I've been running from all these years. The truth, and all its requisite parts. They could all see it, couldn't they, and I was the one who was blind. Oh, but that makes sense… I've just gotten everything backwards this whole time. I wait, because I still hope that maybe I'm wrong; maybe some voice somewhere in my head will contradict me, tell me that I'm worth it. That I'm not those things they called me all those years ago. I wait, and nothing happens. Nothing speaks. There is silence, except for the roaring in my ears.
They're still in my head. Whispering to me, reminding me that they're right and I'm wrong. Everything they've ever called me circles around in my mind, like a vortex. There's a black hole in the center, and it's pulling me in. That's strange; why would the truth be a black hole? Why do I even care? I lean over and rest my head on the faucet as the abyss draws me in.
Psychopath… Do you even have feelings?
I lied again, told them I didn't. I lied over and over until it replaced the truth and they believed me. Until I believed me. But it was never really true. Unless that was another thing I was wrong about, like all the rest. I fight against the black hole for a while, but then I think to myself, what's the point? If they're right and I'm wrong, why should I fight it? Maybe that's why I can never look myself in the eye; I'll see all the lies, or worse… But I'm scared. Why am I scared, I don't get scared. It's just the truth. I've spent my whole life looking for the truth in things. How could I find the truth in everyone else but miss it in myself? Have I really been that ignorant?
I raise my head from the tap and look at myself. What do I see worth keeping? Precious little, that's for sure. I dare myself to look in my eyes, one last time before I dive into the abyss; before I surrender to the truth. Maybe, I think desperately, maybe I'm wrong about being wrong. Maybe I'm not what they say I am, maybe if I look my eyes will say I'm worth something. I don't want to look. I don't want to be laid bare to my own scrutiny. The turmoil in my head increases like a growing storm until I can't fight it any more. I drag my eyes upward. I look.
Emptiness. There's nothing there, nothing but a blank slate. I sink to my knees. One thought runs through my head- they were right. All along, they were right. They had always been right. I feel a dull shock, as if I'm not allowed emotions. Only the emptiness. I tear my eyes away from themselves and sink into the black hole. I feel nothing; only the blessed emptiness. But even that is only momentary. The pressure of the abyss strips away everything, everything I have. Then it speaks to me; I hear its voice inside my head.
You are nothing…
I don't notice standing back up. I don't notice the blood when I slam my palm into the mirror. I don't notice when John comes running up the stairs to the bathroom, or when he pounds on the door, calling my name. I barely notice when he pulls my hand away from the shattered glass, swearing quietly to himself, and leads me down the stairs to the living room. Why does he care? Can't he see the truth like all the others? John sits me down on the couch and goes to get his first aid kit. He keeps asking me what's wrong as he wraps up my hand, and I can tell that he's bothered when I don't respond. I keep looking inward, into the black hole, and his words come in through a thick fog.
"Sherlock, please tell me what is wrong," he pleads, but I don't even look at him, until he puts his hand on my shoulder. The touch startles me enough that I can bring myself to speak. "Please."
"They were right." He looks confused.
"They were all right. All along…" I don't know if he understands what I mean. I turn to look at him, and he meets me straight in the eye and for once I don't look away. And he knows; I can tell he knows. He sees it all, everything I've been fighting all these years, been pushing away. I look away from him, unable to keep his gaze.
"What were they right about?"
"Everything. Everything they called me. They always knew." Suddenly, John grabs my shoulders and pulls me to face him. I look away from him, but I can feel his intensity when he talks to me.
"Hey, I want you to listen to me." He moves my chin so that I have no choice but to look at him. "Now actually listen. I don't know who 'they' are, or what they called you, but they're wrong. They don't know anything. You don't need to believe them, not for a second." I wish I could tell him he was right. I wish I could believe that he was right. I pull away from him and stand up. I hear John's voice from behind me. "Sherlock, I want to help you. Please. Tell me what happened." Does he really want to know? Or is he just pretending like all the others did? Either way, what harm would it do to tell him? Slowly I begin to speak. I can't bring myself to face him as I go through the story. I talk for longer than I thought I would need to get through, never once looking at him. When I'm finished, I don't move, staring out of the window, the vortex spinning full force again.
You are nothing…
I hear John get up. He's leaving, just like all the rest. Then suddenly, he appears next to me. He doesn't speak at first, but he sighs and puts his hand back on my shoulder. "Come with me." I have no idea what he wants, but I follow him nonetheless. He leads me to the kitchen and hands me a plate, of all things. The bottom is reflective, and he turns it so that I can see myself in the underside. "Look at yourself. Tell me if you really see any of those things that they called you. Because I don't." I don't respond, so he keeps going. "You want to know what I see? I see a good man. Maybe not a normal man, but that's okay, because you don't have to be anything they tell you to be. You're my friend, my best friend, and you've done more for me than anyone I know. You are not a freak, you are not a psychopath, and you sure as hell aren't nothing. They're lying, and they always have been. You have nothing to be ashamed of." I listen to him. I want to believe that he's right, and slowly, very slowly, the vortex calms. The black hole fades to nothing. My heart is racing, and my hands are shaking so hard I almost drop the plate. The vortex is still there in the back of my head, but only at the back now, and I find myself doing something I've never done before.
I look myself in the eye.