A/N: Hello. I'd like to point out that I haven't actually seen Season 2 yet (sorry, Yankee). This is based on one of the Season 2 trailers that you can view on YouTube, specifically "Reckless Nor Hurt." I couldn't believe Sherlock would say something so incredibly hurtful to John, and I just had to get a little deeper into John's head to see what he would think about it. Sorry if this turns out to make absolutely no sense in the larger context of the episode. Enjoy.
"I don't have friends."
The words echoed in his head as he stormed through the pub, oblivious to his surroundings. He needed air and he needed it now. He didn't care who was watching him. He slammed through the doors and out into the surprisingly cold night, stopping abruptly on the small patio outside. Steam condensed in the chill air as he exhaled a deep, cleansing breath through a gaping mouth. His head swam.
"I don't have friends."
It was a statement he'd heard made about Sherlock Holmes before. Everyone who knew Sherlock called him insane; a sociopath, a psycho, fit only for solving crimes, not for interacting with human beings (of which he could barely be classified as one). Everyone except John, anyway.
Even though he'd heard others say it, he'd never believed it. Despite all Sherlock's eccentricities, they'd clicked too well from the very beginning for him to call their relationship anything other than friendship. Despite his denials to Mycroft, he really had been very loyal very quickly. He'd killed for the man before he'd known him 48 hours. It'd been the right thing to do, but that hadn't been the main reason he'd done it. It'd been because his friend was in danger.
Danger. Sherlock was right that John was addicted to it. He loved the thrill of the chase just as much as Sherlock did, dashing about, pursuing criminals, getting into trouble, trying to get out of trouble, staying alive. But he also just flat out liked Sherlock, despite all the excellent reasons not to. He enjoyed their quiet times together in their flat as much as he did their crime solving exploits, just in a different way.
They were friends. He'd felt comfortable in that knowledge, even if little else about Sherlock was comfortable. Now he didn't know what to think.
He circled around the pub's patio once, trying to calm down. He walked over to one of the adjoining walls and leaned against it, gazing upwards at the stars. He tried to get a little perspective, his thoughts returning again to Sherlock's words.
"I don't have friends."
Sherlock's tone of disdain was what had really gotten to John. The knowledge that Sherlock didn't think much of friendship as a concept wasn't very surprising. But John couldn't help but wonder: was it his friendship in particular that Sherlock couldn't be bothered with, that he thought was beneath him? The idea hurt. Considering all the insensitive, painful things that Sherlock had said to him in the past, that was surprising, but it hurt a lot.
He pushed off from the wall, circled the patio again, and then returned to his former place, this time looking down at his feet. He crouched down, placing his hands flat on the bricks, trying to let the sensation of cold focus his mind, cool his heated thoughts.
His crouched position brought to mind kneeling at the side of a pool, feeling equally flustered, though for very different reasons. He remembered Sherlock's face when John had entered with a strange parka wrapped around him, that look of shock and something he'd never before seen on Sherlock's face: fear. He remembered hands desperately trying to wrench a vest off his body, remembered a frantic voice asking him if he was alright. Most of all, he remembered a stuttered, awkward compliment, labeling what he had done "good".
He straightened slowly, his breathing calmer now, the flushed feeling fading from his face. He didn't give a damn what Sherlock said. He was his friend. You couldn't go through what they'd been through together without having the strongest kind of friendship imaginable. Sherlock was a bloody fool if he thought John would doubt his instincts on something like this.
He felt his hurt slowly giving way to a growing anger. Whatever Sherlock was going through now, it was absolutely no excuse for treating him like this. He'd put up with a lot from Sherlock Holmes (and, if he was entirely honest, he was probably going to put up with a whole lot more where that came from), but this was over the line. Sherlock was going to make it up to him somehow. He wasn't sure of the details, but he was damn certain it was at the very least going to involve an apology.
He wasn't backing out, though. He wasn't backing off. No matter what Sherlock did, they were friends. John wasn't going to let Sherlock do something stupid like totally alienate him just because he was a complete idiot. Even if Sherlock was a complete genius, too.