A few of the things John has learned about Sherlock over the years. Discoveries that impacted his view of Sherlock, or that changed their relationship. Five surprising, one not so surprising. This is a friendship fic, which basically means it's only slash if you're wearing the goggles. But it is, first and foremost a love story, even if it isn't a romantic one. Please enjoy.
Oh. And I don't own it. Arthur Conan Doyle created it, Gatiss and Moffat re-imagined it, and I borrowed it so I can aspire to a fraction of their respective awesomenesses.
John learns all kinds of things about Sherlock as the months and years slip past.
He was surprised when he found out that Sherlock didn't speak for the first several years of his life, because he can't imagine Sherlock not speaking. He had rather believed that Sherlock came from the womb forming long, obtuse sentences to explain even more obtuse observations about the doctors and nurses.
He was shocked when he found out that Sherlock did so poorly in public school that he had to be taken out and handed over to a posh boarding school where he could prove himself by being smarter than the smartest. He had assumed that his preschool finger paintings were Van Goghs and his primary school writing assignments were Dickens novels. It didn't exactly gel with Sherlock's insistence upon deleting facts like the heliocentric theory, but it made him a little easier to visualize as a child. He has trouble seeing the brilliant mind muddling through long division with horrifying imprecision, and he tries not to think about it because it makes his head hurt.
He was horrified when he found out that Sherlock's pale arms were mottled with tiny scars from his past. He had imagined that Sherlock valued his brain too much to risk destroying it—back before he realized that Sherlock is in a constant death match with his own mind, fighting to see who will win that day. It doesn't make the little marks any easier to face, but it does make him see that these tiny suicides are what kept Sherlock alive all these years.
He was overjoyed when he found out that he was more than just data to Sherlock. One day he had a cold and Sherlock made him tea, prepared with one-and-a-half spoonful of sugar and just a splash of milk, even though Sherlock preferred two sugars (just like in his coffee), and no milk. Of all the things Sherlock deleted, the way that John took tea stayed in his mind. And since he had never made tea for John before, it could not be a miracle of rote repetition that caused him to reach for the milk carton. Later, when Sherlock 'accidentally' left the telly on old Connie Prince re-runs, John could only smile at the way the great detective chose to deduce John's telly watching habits. At least he had remembered that Prince was more than just a murder victim. Remembering this type of stuff is not unusual for Sherlock—it is unheard of. The man can barely remember his own birthday (John asked Mycroft and discovered that it was January sixth), and he sees people as potential fodder for interesting cases. Yet he remembers that John takes milk in his tea, and that he used to watch Connie Prince out of bored desperation. John feels flattered by this simple display of domesticity from Sherlock.
He was brought to tears when he found out (via Mycroft) that Sherlock shouted his name during those tense nights in the ICU after the pool incident, when John had a concussion and Sherlock had a death sentence from the doctors. He is not proud enough to believe that his existing in Sherlock's life is what gave the world's most stubborn man the will to live. This is because he has yet to realize how many times tea with milk and Connie Prince re-runs have saved Sherlock's life already. He still considers himself Sherlock's flatmate , a matter of convenience turned into something like friendship and then blossoming into something that might be brotherhood. He isn't a savior. He has never been. He is just happy to be there to help Sherlock along when he needs it.
He was not amazed when he found out that Sherlock Holmes needed help. After all, everyone does.