I cried a bit while writing this. It was a lot more emotional in my head.

-Hope

I need you because I love you. Without you, I feel no purpose.

'I love you,' a quiet, deep voice whispered into the darkness. The only light in the room was the soft, silver glow from the moon that shone through the blind-less window. The hallway lights were not on, so the wide open door left the appearance of the room unchanged, undisturbed.

'I love you,' the voice repeated in the same tone: quiet but not weak, seemingly emotionless, but so passionate, practically non-existent but more real than ever.

Dreams feel so real sometimes, don't they? But the struggle to hear those words, the body-shock they left, the mental torture that they immediately brought to the mind… how could this not be real?

'I love you,' came the three words once again, followed by three slow, agonizing strides. A tall shadow swept in front of the window, scattering the moonlight for a moment, but soon fell back into place.

Part of him wanted it to be a dream. Part of him just wished it were one of the ones he had to endure nearly every night. Part of him hoped that he'd wake up quickly, to stop the pain that pierced his heart at that moment. Just like any other night, he fought to over come his pounding heart and convinced himself that none of this was real.

But something about this time was different.

This time he had not just heard the detective's deep voice, but he had felt it on his skin; crawling up his arms and resting on his chest, where his heart felt it and in response, beat harder, louder, faster.

This time he heard the footsteps grow louder as the detective reached his bed and lowered himself beside it.

This time he didn't imagine the feeling of the detective's fingers brush across his face, but he actually felt them, callused but soft.

'I love you,' the voice said again, even quieter. The words were sad, shaken, and very, very real. This time, John was almost certain of it.

Sherlock lightly touched John's face and left his hand there to rest for a moment. The fingers of his other hand were entwined with the army doctor's on the bed in front of him. 'I never got the chance to tell you, but I assumed that you already knew.'

John's body and mind screamed at each other to react. He tried to move, to speak, to open his eyes, to do something, anything, to tell the detective he was there, and conscious. His arms wanted to grab the man and throw him to the ground. He wanted to press their foreheads together and let his mouth shout, and scream and yell until he had said everything he had wanted to say ever since Sherlock had left him.

And then he wanted to press his lips to Sherlock's and just breath with him; breathe the same air as him again as they had done so many times before.

But his body refused to move. All over he was in such shock at the realization that Sherlock was there, alive, telling him those three words that he had wanted to say and to hear so many times.

He wanted so badly to just show Sherlock that he was awake and listening, but he simply couldn't.

'I love you,' Sherlock muttered softly. John felt Sherlock lean forward, his body pressing lightly at John's side. He felt Sherlock lay his lips on John's forehead, where his hand had just been.

No, John's immobile self tried to say.

He felt Sherlock's soft lips pull away.

No.

He felt Sherlock's fingers slip from his own.

No.

He felt Sherlock's body stand and turn.

No.

He felt as Sherlock walked towards the door and look back at him.

No!

He felt Sherlock's words directed towards him, and felt them make impact with his still body.

'I love you,' Sherlock said for what John knew was, but prayed so heavily that it wasn't, the last time.

Please, god, no.

He felt the door shut softly and Sherlock completely vanish.

The room was still.

He couldn't feel Sherlock there anymore.

It was only him, alone, lying in bed with a shattered and aching heart.

'No,' John finally managed to mutter.

Please come back.