Author's Note: I decided I simply had to write a Sherlock fic considering I spent the last too-many hours discovering and loving and rewatching the episodes like four times. That being said, it is my first, so cut me some slack please? This fic does feature a potential accepted relationship between John and Sherlock, so for those of you who are close-minded and boring, keep your distance. Besides that ... enjoy, please do enjoy, and give me feedback if you think the story merits it.
It was early. Yes, very early. John knew this because through the curtains there was only the faintest hint of a sunrise. The doctor's deductions continued. By looking at his watch and reading the glowing red numbers, John deduced that it was 5:54 a.m. And yet … yes, there it was again. A noise coming from the living room. A sort of thunking noise. John sat to listen for a moment. It would happen, and then happen again, in between irregular pauses. Cursing the fates that would have him up at such a God-awful hour the morning after such a traumatic event, John pulled on a still-damp bathrobe and headed towards the source of annoyance.
Ah … of course. Sherlock Holmes. The source of all his annoyance. And hardship. And pain. And death-defying adventures.
"Sherlock, what in God's name are you doing up at this hour? And what was that bloody – Oh, my computer? My computer, is it? What could you possibly need to –"
"John please do be quiet. I'm concentrating." Sherlock was sitting wrapped in a sheet, John's laptop open on his bare knees, fingers moving rapidly just above the keyboard – not actually typing anything.
John's head fell to one side and his lips pursed angrily, waiting for an explanation.
Sherlock closed his eyes and let his fingers rest a moment. His head fell back against the sofa, and John watched as he serenely reached to the coffee table – eyes still closed – grasped a dart and flung it against the wall near the kitchen. Well, that explained the noise anyhow …
"Oh, c'mon Sherlock, what's going on?"
But Sherlock did not move, did not open his eyes. He sat just as he had been, his hand still poised in the position in which the dart had left it. He took deep breaths and ignored John completely.
"For pity's sake, John! Shouldn't you be asleep?" Sherlock awoke in a fit of irritation.
"Have you been to sleep yet, Sherlock?"
And then John was worried. Worried because he saw the bags under Sherlock's eyes and the wrinkles around his mouth from frowning. He saw the unruly way in which Sherlock's hair was lying, as if he'd been running his hands through it repeatedly for hours. Sherlock might have applauded John on his observations, but John could have told him there was nothing scientific about it – one simply knew when someone they cared about was in emotional distress. And this was emotional distress. John knew it must be so, because he had seen Sherlock under mental stress and inflicted upon by physical pain – and this was neither of those. John had never seen Sherlock look this way before. Had never seen him look baffled. Puzzles were exciting to Sherlock, never confusing or defeating or wearying.
"Sherlock, what is it?" he said as he sat beside his flat mate.
Sherlock pulled the screen of the laptop closer to him and turned his body at an angle so that he was facing John head-on. "Nothing."
Then came the pursing of the lips again. "Fine," John said, "Well you don't mind if I just sit and read the paper then?"
Sherlock eyed John suspiciously but did not argue.
So they sat in silence. John pretending to read the paper and Sherlock staring at a blank computer screen. Occasionally Sherlock would type a string of words, but he always deleted them immediately after.
"Writing something?" John asked casually, giving the paper a shake.
"And if I am?"
"Wasn't an accusation, Sherlock, just a question."
Perhaps half an hour passed.
"May I see it? Might be able to help, you know."
A pause and then: "If you must know," Sherlock sighed dramatically, "I am blogging."
"What?" John asked, "My blog?"
"Where else would one record the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson?" Sherlock raised his eyebrows dangerously.
John swallowed. "So you're … you're blogging about last night? With – with Moriarty?"
"Oh, well done, Dr. Watson. I must be blogging about last night, mustn't I, since we have had no adventures since that time?"
"No need to be so prickly about it …" John murmured, quite hurt. "Have you been up all night doing so?"
"And what if I have?"
John watched Sherlock carefully. He was not blinking, he wasn't moving. Every muscle in his body was taut as a violin string. "Christ, Sherlock, get off your guard, will you? It's just me. And you – you should have gone to bed ages ago, you should have-"
Sherlock sprang from the couch, letting the laptop clatter to the floor. "Oh shut up, John! Bloody hell. Just. Shut. Up."
John stood, refusing to be deterred. "Sherlock, how many nicotine patches have you got on? Christ. That's too many, you'll-"
"Oh John, you silly little simpleton. I am thinking. They help me to think. How many times must I tell you?" He had calmed, and he was resting his forehead against the wall, beside the darts.
"And what, do tell, are you thinking about? You haven't got any cases. The blog? Sherlock, blogs are for normal people, they don't require this much thinking …"
"Well this one does, John, this one does."
"And why didn't you let me write it then, hm? Save yourself the trouble. Surely you've got more important things to worry about."
Sherlock turned his head on the spot, giving John a pathetic look. How might he express to the doctor that this case could not be blogged about? That it was entirely different in every sense of the word? That all those times Sherlock had told John that caring would not help him solve a case had been negated the moment he'd seen John strapped to a bomb? That standing in that pool, in that moment when everything seemed lost, Sherlock had been able to think of at least nine different ways of risking his life to escape. Nine – surely the odds were in his favor that at least one of them would have worked. But he couldn't risk anything. He had stood deaf and dumb to all around him because all he could see in his periphery was John. And he would not, could not, risk John's life. He had allowed himself to be beaten.
How could he blog about that?
"Sherlock, will you sit please?"
Sherlock inhaled deeply through his nose and closed his eyes.
"Sherlock, we don't have to write this one out. I mean … if you'd prefer. Blogs are silly things, anyhow, right?"
Sherlock groaned. "Ah, John, you don't understand. It must be written. But how?"
John mused. "Well, write it then. But, we needn't post it. We can keep it … private. If you'd like. Would that suit better?"
Sherlock opened his eyes. "Private?"
"Yes, Sherlock," John nodded slowly. "Only you and I need know about … last night. What happened to us last night. Now please," he said cautiously, "please come and sit. We will finish that story in our own good time."
And then it was easy. Sherlock returned to the couch. He remained silent, but a few of his wrinkles had relaxed. He'd lost the look of tortured concentration and instead adopted a vacant expression, as if he'd literally lost sight of the real world altogether. His face was calm and his eyelids drooped a little. But he let John peel off the nicotine patches and lie him gently on the couch. Once the sheet was tucked securely around Sherlock's shoulders, John slid to the floor and propped himself against the couch near to Sherlock's knees.
There was silence for a while and then Sherlock asked, "You're not going back to bed, John?"
"No," John reassured. "I'm not tired."
You didn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to see that John was physically and emotionally exhausted. And yet Sherlock Holmes himself let the lie go without comment.
"You sleep, Sherlock. We'll make some coffee in the morning," John yawned.
"It is morning, John."
And then John slept, and Sherlock did not. But there was peace in the flat on Baker Street, and for the moment that was enough. And John dreamed about the night at the pool and his dreams were horrifying. And Sherlock meditated on the night at the pool and his thoughts were confused and frustrating. But they did not drive him to madness when John was there, the back of his scruffy head bent over his chest, slowly rising and falling. And it would be as John had said. That night would remain just his and John's, for the time being, and they could figure it all out at a later date. Sherlock could stow it away at the back of his mind and wait for more data on the matter, to decide what it all meant, and whether or not he was actually, truly in love with Dr. John Watson.