Your name is John Watson and you have learned a lot about Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes is broken.

A lot of people would say that much was obvious as soon as they'd met him, but they were wrong. It was immediately obvious to anyone that Sherlock wasn't exactly normal, but there was a whole world between normal and broken.

It took you months to see the truth of where Sherlock belonged on that scale: so broken he almost seems normal again. Sherlock has been shattered, and he has built a mosaic from the pieces.

Standing next to Sherlock, you don't have any problems – or rather, you only have one problem, and he, curiously enough, is one you can deal with. The only reason anyone calls you crazy any more is for being his friend.

He isn't a psychopath – you did do your research, when you heard him say that, and he was, probably, right. But you aren't sure he is a sociopath either.

Sometimes, you think he wishes he was.

You still don't know what happened, only that it was a long time ago and Sherlock has never talked about his childhood. He doesn't volunteer information like that, and you have never asked.

The more time you spend with Mycroft, the more you wonder if Sherlock got the better end of the deal.

Sherlock Holmes is infuriating.

There are times – a lot of times – when you can't stand to be around him. He has more flaws than you can count, and you have catalogued each and every annoyance he has put you through, and listed them to anyone who will listen. Whenever you get some time to yourself, it's like a weight off of your shoulders. You could almost cheer.

The worst part comes half an hour later, when you remember how boring the world is when Sherlock isn't around.

The worst part are the dates. Was dating always so dull? How did you never notice? You can barely force yourself to listen, and however much you try not to it's so easy to bring up Sherlock and spend a whole evening complaining about him to someone who hasn't heard it all before.

You start imagining what he would think of it all – the snide comments he would make, the insight he would have into the lives of everyone around you, the way he would get bored and make something actually interesting happen for once. By the end of the night, you're making half-joking excuses to get back "before he blows the flat up again" and there's a part of you which only hopes he hasn't because you'd hate to miss something like that.

Sherlock Holmes is not your type.

You aren't at all attracted to him. It would make a lot more sense if you were, and you wish everyone would stop acting like you're just shy because that you honestly wouldn't have a problem with. Gay is something people can handle – something you could handle.

Being straight and feeling like this isn't.

You don't want to sleep with Sherlock. You want to –

You want to be around him, except when you don't. You want to finally stop him leaving his most disgusting experiments in the fridge. You want to throttle him, sometimes, and you want to see him smile, always.

You want to laugh at him when he's ranting at nothing, and cheer him on when he's ranting at someone who deserves it, and stop him when it's someone who doesn't. You want to watch him when he's being brilliant, and when he's making mistakes. You want to have ridiculous adventures with him that no-one ever quite believes, and you want to not care what they think of the stories.

You want things to be like this forever.

Sherlock Holmes is brilliant.

You've always known that, and he isn't ever going to let you forget it, but you don't just mean the way he thinks. It's the way he turns up his collar. The way he, just occasionally, apologises. The way he looks at you.

You would say that you love him, but the word is entirely wrong in every possible way. They haven't invented the right words for him yet, but even when they do they'll probably get it wrong.

Sherlock Holmes is someone you cannot live without.

And that, more than anything, terrifies you.