Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock. No profit is being made from this fanwork.
Author's Note: Another post-Reichenbach piece. ALL THE FEELS.
Warnings: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.
You left me.
You made me watch.
Christ; how do I do this without you?
One day passes into another the way the days have always done, and Sherlock is still dead, no matter how much John begs, and pleads; prays, and curses, and bargains. The Universe doesn't listen to the lowly Dr. Watson, alone without the other half of his soul, and withering away without even trying to hold on. There isn't any use, is there, without the man who makes him who he is. Funny, how he never saw it coming; any of it, and now he's left reeling, and wondering, and wanting to know why most of all.
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson; can't really have one without the other.
A pair; a duality, and orbiting stars in a universe all their own. They were never meant to be separated, and John has lost the ability to function without his mad flat mate there to drag him all over London, and back again. He limps, and his hand shakes, and his face is soldier-blank all over again because he can't-
He's half-afraid of what he'll do if he lets go of the careful control he has over the hurricane of emotions raging inside of him.
The word his world is narrowed down to; the reason he can't let go, can't move on in whatever way he chooses. The world keeps on turning, dragging the name of his dead-best-friend through the mud, and John doesn't believe Sherlock ever told him a lie until the end, until I'm a fake, and a deliberate fall.
John knows Sherlock. Or knew him, but he doesn't think in the past-tense; can't, if he's to keep the pieces of himself together long enough to find the answer he knows is there. He's so tired, wants more than anything to be able to let go, but Sherlock's ghost haunts him, and he hears goodbye, John every time he closes his eyes; sees his entire world falling to the pavement when he opens them again.
I don't believe you.
Amazing, and brilliant, and fantastic; a hundred other words under the sun that John has used to describe the genius mind of a madman. Sherlock doesn't care what ordinary, dull, boring people care about him, and what he can do. For some reason, John's opinion matters, but no one else's, and it doesn't explain why.
I believe in you.
He always will; it isn't something he can turn off, the same way he can't stop sending texts to Sherlock's phone even though he never gets an answer. He does wonder where, exactly, Sherlock's phone is. John never got it back. It's a parting thought, though, as so many things are these days. Transport, Sherlock calls them, staring loudly at John from the sofa, and gunshots echo as ghostly bullets hit the wall.
It's possible he needs to go back to therapy; he doesn't bother, after the last time, because he can't say everything he should have when there's only a ghost around to hear him. He's probably definitely a danger to himself, anyway, and it's easier to sit in the flat, and ignore the worried messages of friends he inherited by virtue of being the one left behind.
The world presses in, bears down on him until he can't breathe no matter how much he struggles, and he knows this is a panic attack, but there's nothing he can do except sit there until it passes. He comes back to awareness curled up on the couch with tear tracks down his face, and the certainty that he isn't going to make it through this. John is familiar with all the stages of grief, and all the meaningless platitudes that other people say, but never mean; he doesn't know what this is.
It isn't grief, not really; he wants it to be, because grief, at least, he has a chance of surviving, of over-coming through time, and therapy, and remembering to be himself. John doesn't know if he can a single person anymore; he doesn't think it's possible, can't imagine it, and doesn't want to. He's torn all to Hell, and no one can put him back together because all the vital pieces are missing; gone, and no one will ever find them again.
Would you hate me if I followed you this one last time?
He doesn't send that one because he can't bring himself to, even though there isn't anyone on the other side to read it. He's spent eighteen months following Sherlock into the dark, and occasionally dragging the both of them out again. It's become so far ingrained in him by this point that it's almost instinct, and he wants it, so badly. Still, there is part of him that says no, and don't be so predictable, John, and he knows he'll never be able to do it.
You did this to me, you bastard.
I love you.
He goes through the motions, every day. He works, even though he doesn't actually have to, given the amount of money left to him by Sherlock, and the way Mycroft insists on paying the full rent at 221B. John's given up trying to stop him; Mycroft can deal with his guilt whatever way he likes, so long as he stays away. There are fake smiles, and real laughter on occasion that always makes him feel as though he's betraying something he doesn't have a name for, and it never gets better, or easier, or stops hurting.
There's a gaping wound at the heart of him, torn, and burned, and dead.
He hates Sherlock, a little, for leaving him. Everyone says that's normal, but there's never been anything normal about them, and John never tells them the way it feels, all the time, every day. He never tells Lestrade that he can barely breathe when he wakes in the morning to Sherlock still dead; he never lets Mrs. Hudson in on the fact that he holds his gun every night before he goes to bed, sits with it casually resting against his temple, and is so very tempted.
The silence is too loud at Sherlock's grave; it's the one place John never sees the ghost, and he can't stand it. He never says a word, stands there at parade rest until it's too much, and then he limps away.
John doesn't know what he's doing anymore, how to live beyond the crushing, vast expanse of more-than-grief that threatens to drown him everyday.
Just one more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Please, just for me.