A/N: My first story in a while. Non Britt-Pick'd and Non beta'd. All faults (and there are a lot of them) are my own. :) I know this is sad, but I couldn't resist.
The flat was quiet, too quiet. John sat in his chair, staring silently at nothing, at everything that used to be something, but didn't really matter anymore, not when Sherlock wasn't there, not when Sherlock would never be there again.
The skull sat, perched on the mantle, staring him down. He never would have thought such a ridiculous sight could make him cry, make him weep with loneliness, with an aching hollowness that spread through his entire body. Sherlock's two best friends, alone in their misery.
That night, John's first night without Sherlock, the world's first night without Sherlock, was the first night he did it. John Watson picked up his phone, clutching it tightly, as if it were a lifeline, and guided his stiff, weary fingers as they stumbled over the buttons of his phone.
I miss you
There was no response. Of course not. He hadn't expected there to be one...well, not really.
What had become of Sherlock's phone anyways? It didn't matter. John closed his eyes, clutching the phone in his hand until his knuckles were chalk white and his fingers began to cramp.
The funeral had just ended, John walked away from the bustling crowd, most of which hardly knew Sherlock anyways.
Anderson and Donovan had attempted to attend, but Lestrade had firmly ordered them to stay away and never mention Sherlock in front of him again, before timidly asking John if it would be okay if he went. John had smiled then, a tight, watery smile.
"I think he would have liked that, having you there, Detective Inspector." John mumbled, forcing the words past his dry lips.
He hardly ever spoke anymore. Who was there to speak to?
John stood, watching the crowd disperse, feeling the pain in his chest grow. It was no longer the dull ache it had been previously, now it was a throbbing, pulsating pain. It squeezed his heart until he couldn't even feel it beating.
John slipped his phone out of his jacket pocket. It was damp out, damp and windy. Maybe the world was just as sad as he was...or maybe this was just London. Either way, he needed a jacket. He scrolled through his contacts, landing on the only one he ever used these days. The only one who never responded and the only one who he needed a response from, but knew he would never get.
Thinking of you.
Things got worse. John barely spoke, barely ate, barely moved. Sometimes he'd almost forget to breathe.
Breathing is boring.
He'd smile then, as if he was sharing a secret joke with a friend. In his mind, he was.
He lost his job, fired. What else is one to do with an employee that never shows up for work, and on the rare, rare occasions when he does, he locks himself away in his office, refusing to see patients.
I probably won't make rent this month.
When John went to apologize to Mrs. Hudson for not having enough money to pay, she informed him that it had already been taken care of.
Probably Mycroft, he thought sadly. That hurt worse, thinking of Mycroft. It made him angry.
It was his fault.
It was his fault.
It was my fault.
John began typing another message. Two in a row, this was getting unhealthy. He chuckled when the thought entered his head, when had this ever been healthy?
It was my fault. I'm sorry.
They say it's a good thing when you hit rock bottom, because there is no where to go but up. Evidently he had not hit rock bottom. Or they were wrong, whoever they were.
The pain was getting worse. John wondered sometimes if any of Sherlock's drugs were still around the apartment, not that he'd use them...probably. He really should move out. But then Sherlock would really be dead. If John left he would be accepting it. He couldn't. The pain was worth it. It was a reminder that Sherlock Holmes had lived and affected. He would leave a mark on this world, even if it was only a mark of pain, etched into the heart of John Watson.
I forgot to get dressed today.
John sighed. It echoed. His sigh echoed. He decided it was time to move. He had been so certain it was a bad decision earlier, but what else could he do. He felt terrible, having Mycroft paying for him to live there. He'd find another place to live, he'd find a job, he'd move on.
Mrs. Hudson cried. He cried. At least, John thinks he cried. He can't really remember. The last think he remembers clearly is Sherlock, falling, Sherlock, voice resonating softly in his ears. Sherlock - the name on his lips, forcing its way out of his throat, tearing it raw.
That. That is the last thing he remembers.
He wakes up screaming the name sometimes. He was kicked out of his new flat for it. His new roommate was getting annoyed - also, John still couldn't pay rent.
I don't know where I'm going to sleep tonight.
He doesn't know why he keeps doing it. He can't stop.
It was as if his skin was on fire, his body burning him alive from the inside out.
He had lost weight since Sherlock's death. A lot of weight.
His eyes were haunted, black and endless in their misery. Sherlock wouldn't want this, probably. But he didn't know for sure. Who was he to assume he could possible know what Sherlock would have wanted. Probably a case. And John...maybe John.
It was pathetic. He was stronger than this.
I don't know if I can make it.
Mycroft found him, sleeping in St. Bart's, in Sherlock's old lab.
"You should move back in to Baker Street."
"He would want you there."
"Someone has to look after Mrs. Hudson."
Why did he do that? Why did he have to say those words.
"John," he began slowly, hesitantly.
"No, Mycroft." The words were harsh on his tongue, weak and dry from disuse. "Don't."
Mycroft nodded, the silent OK hanging stiffly in the air.
John pulled out his phone on the way home.
Moving back home...Wish you were there.
Mycroft tilted his head towards John's phone. "Who are you texting?"
"No one." It was the truth. He was texting Sherlock's phone, but there was nobody on the other end.
He had never imagined it would get this bad. He had never imagined one person could mean this much to him.
I bought some pills today.
Tears rolled down his face. His phone was in one hand, the bottle of pills in the other.
He lay in Sherlock's bed, squeezing the man's pillow to his chest, face smothered in the fabric, trying to breathe in every last drop of the man's scent.
Again, pills in one hand.
How many should I take?
All of them?
His body felt raw. His eyes were itchy.
It gets better.
That's what they say.
They keep getting it wrong.
They really need to check where they're getting their information.
I'm doing it tomorrow.
John woke to Sherlock's scent, and his heart leapt with joy, until he remembered where he was. Until he remembered why everything smelt like Sherlock. It was a beautiful scent.
John lay there for hours. Maybe the whole day. He wasn't sure. All John knew was that the sun had risen, and now it was dark again.
His fingers, numb and locked, fumbled with the cap to the pill bottle. He dumped them all out into his sweaty palm.
John tossed the phone on the bed, his first time letting it go since Sherlock's death.
He grabbed the water from the bedside table, slowly bringing the pills to his lips.
His phone vibrated.
He looked down.
He read the screen.
He read it again.
1 New Message
John lowered the water, his heart pounding in his chest. He picked up his discarded phone, and clicked...
John dropped the glass of water. It shattered across the bedroom floor. He didn't feel it. He didn't hear it.
As he sat there, staring at the message, it all went away. All the pain, all the hurt, all the despair. He was confused, maybe even betrayed, and Sherlock had a lot of explaining to do, but he was alive.
I missed you too.