thank you all again! this is the last word. it's been great writing this. so with that: enjoy!

Saudade (Portuguese)—the feeling of longing for someone that you love and is lost

"Sherlock, you can't just say that!"

"Ugh! You people and your sympathy. I don't understand it."

"You told the man he was going to die soon!"

"He is! He's 87 and still smokes!"

"And that doesn't send a message to you?"

"One lecture at a time, John."

John threw his hands in the air angrily. "I'm going out."

Sherlock knew not to stop him, but he hated those words. He hated them more than "baby brother" and "freak" and "piss off" and "no case" all put together. "I'm going out" meant John was leaving. "I'm going out meant Sherlock was alone. He used to thrive on being alone. "Alone is what protects us," he'd told John. But John protected him. As much as it pained him to admit he could have been wrong, he could have died the night the cabbie gave him the pill if John hadn't shot the man.

And now he longed for John. No methodical sound of the keyboard clacking (John really had become a much better typist), no kettle boiling (no, he couldn't make tea for himself), no sound of the TV as John scrolled Sky One. Sherlock's longing for John was so strong that he fell asleep just to escape the aching in his chest.

He woke up to the sound of the door opening. The flat was dark, and he was disoriented. This was why he hated sleeping. He heard the swish of John's coat as he hung it on the peg, John's heavy, soldier footsteps as he made his way to the kitchen, the flick of a switch as he turned on the kettle, and the opening and closing of drawers and cabinets as he prepared to make tea. Sherlock sat up slowly. John walked over with his tea and sat in his armchair, completely aware despite the dark that Sherlock was awake and sitting on the couch.

"John," Sherlock started.

"I know, Sherlock," John replied, cutting him off.

"No." He paused. "I'm sorry."

"I know you are."

"You must know, John….When you're gone…I miss you."

John turned towards him, though he couldn't clearly see Sherlock's face. "When I'm gone?"

"Yes. When you go out. For walks, or to the pub, or whatever you do."

"I'm never gone long."

"Doesn't mean I don't miss you." John had no response. "I'm sorry, John."

"It's OK, Sherlock. Can you do me a favor though?"


"Can you turn on the light?"

"What for? I like it in the dark."

"I…never mind."

"You can't do that, John. You know you can't."

John could feel his face heat up from his blush and his cheeks stretch from his smile. "I want you to turn on the light so I don't miss," he swallowed, "when I kiss you." Suddenly he felt breath on his face and Sherlock's hands on his cheeks.

"Don't worry, John. I know you'll always come back to me." John smiled and kissed him.