Title: Verita Liberabit Vos.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
Summary: He can't remember the day he was forgotten, but he can remember the moment when he decided to surrender. Because John Watson has to die to make Sherlock Holmes understand what he had lost.
Rated M for personal reasons and just to be safe.
Warnings (for the whole story): Lots of angst, dead character. Not an English speaker, so this will probably be full of mistakes and I apologize for them.
"Silence is the relative or total lack of audible sound. It could also refer to the absence of communication.
Silence refers to non verbal communication, and spiritual connection"
A pale hand rubs his blue eyes and he let them dance until they meet the watch beside their bed. It doesn't matter what time is, because he knows everything about time. Because he waited, he still waits but he knows he won't wait anymore. Then, he changes the position of his body trying to not disturb the man who's sleeping beside him. He succeeds, and then his eyes are now on the ceiling and he smiles, because he thinks or at least believes, he had been watching at the same random point on that white and endless ceiling for about months now.
His blonde and now grey-ish head turns to one side and he sees the drawers. Over the posh furniture he can see several pictures he had been insisting to put up there. He counts with his eyes following each one of them and remembers those past days. But he realizes with a shade of grief and pain on his blue gaze that he can't remember. But then he decides to move again, and his head turns to the other side and he meets a dark and curly head, which belongs to the man he had been living and he's married with for more than ten years. His nostrils are wide open and he inhales his scent, recognizing the shampoo from the previous shower before coming to bed. He can't see his face, so he starts counting his locks becoming quickly lost on them when he realizes is too dark to count them all.
John frowns. There aren't things to see, to count, to touch or at least think of in his lack of sleep. Maybe it's time for tea. His feet feel so cold when they are meeting the floor which make him sigh quietly and then he makes his way to the door. But, to get a way out of the room he has to walk in front of him. His left hand stops in the doorknob and he moves it softly, not making a single noise.
John looks at him and even in the dark, he can appreciate his husband's face. He hadn't change in all this time. Sherlock Holmes looks exactly how he looked when they first met. But then he frowns at what he's seeing. His husband looks so peaceful in his sleep, that John wonders if he's having a good dream, or if he's having a good time sleeping. Because Sherlock Holmes only looks peaceful in his sleep.
Because that man, the same one that used to claim that sleeping was useless and a mundane thing to do every night, is the only one who can conceive any sleep. John Watson lost the ability of having a normal sleep long time ago. Like if he has a black stain in his soul, in the deep of his consciousness that keep him from any sleep.
He decides to go away. He doesn't want to disturb anymore.
The kettle is on and his mug has a teabag, ready to be used and make a miserable man happy for at least five minutes. And John smiles at that joke, because he knows he can be happy just drinking tea, but the man doesn't live of tea only, does he? No, if he does, John could have been the owner of his own tea factory long time ago.
Some people need money to be happy. Some others need friends to be happy. Others are happy with their work. But John Watson has someone to make him happy. In fact, that person is sleeping in his bed beside him every single night then again, John Watson isn't a happy man and he hasn't been one long time ago.
The kettle is boiling and he is filling the mug now. He sees how the teabag floats on the hot water and takes it with him. Then he thinks that maybe sugar would help him. He opens the cupboard just to realize they, correction- he didn't go to the shops last week. John sighs and loses all his hopes to find some milk in the fridge. But maybe, just maybe, his mug with Earl Grey tea can give him some five minutes of happiness and joy. He looks down at it and smiles. And when he's sitting in his armchair alone in the sitting room, he tries to remember when was the last time he truly smiled. And then he can't remember.
John turns the little lamp on over the mantelpiece and sighs again. The empty black leather armchair in front of him is cold and barely used in the last months. His owner, a tall and slim man isn't at home as much as he used to before. He leans back, and takes the Union Jack Pillow from the floor and let it rest over his lap. His gaze goes up to the curtains, and he's glad they are open. His eyes and ears are alert, and he can see the poor sunlight coming from the busy street outside. He can also hear the owners of the cafe downstairs opening the shop and bringing the fresh baked bread. He twist his mouth realizing he hasn't ate a normal and proper breakfast long time ago.
He hears steps coming from inside their room and he tightens himself in his place. He sighs inside and let his eyes close for a bit, before hearing the steps hitting the wooden floor and getting near him. John counts. One, one step. Two, two steps. Three, and the man, the owner of those steps stops. And when John open his eyes, he sees his husband taking his coat and his scarf and leaving without a word. John Watson wonders when was the last time they shared a conversation. And he chuckles because he can remember that, he can remember when was the last time they shared a conversation, John remembers the last word spoken: No. And that word broke into his ears long time ago.
The ex Soldier sighs again, but he sighs in relief. Because sometimes he raises his head to the sky and send a quick and honest thanks to the God he believes is up above for not being able to remember Sherlock Holmes's tone of voice. The problem isn't find him and what they've lost, the problem is forget it.
Sometimes he wonders why he is still living there, when he knows he's just another piece of furniture for the other man. But John is happy, because he isn't another kind of furniture, he's an special one. He doesn't need to be polished or cleaned or even filled with books, frames or decorative objects. He can clean himself, fill himself and even move himself when he knows he's just disturbing.
Nothing will happen if he's still there, sitting in an armchair holding a cold and empty mug. The world doesn't move around him.
And he's happy for that.
At work, life is easy. John knows he's helping people and despite the fact his work is not the one of a Medical Doctor in Africa or maybe in the deep of the Amazon jungle in South America, he's happy when he sees his patients recovering their health. And usually they thank him with more than a nod or a smile. They give him drawings of a man of blue eyes who wears a white coat over a colorful jumper. And he smiles at the little girl in front of him and then to his worried mother, and he remembers the moment when he had to take one of the pediatricians shifts at Surgery. And everything started there.
It was hard sometimes because kids can't express with certainty where or how the pain is, but the smile and the happiness in their faces after a diagnosis and a full recovery filled his chest with pride. And when things at home weren't the best, his little patients were there to make him feel happy.
He was happy now. Everyone knew about his change in his career. Everyone but his own husband. And when he got his new diploma in a frame, he decided he wanted it hanging in the wall of his office and not in his flat. Because who really cared about him in those days were his patients. Not Sherlock Holmes, he stopped caring long time ago.
But John didn't care.
Or at least he tried.
He's still trying.
And he succeeds.
He will break free.
The mother smiles at him and he smiles at her. The little girl is feeling missing, out of scene and she climbs onto his lap. John stroke his blonde, long and curly hair and gives her a lollipop. John warns her to eat it after lunch and she nods. And once she leaves his office, another little one comes in. Another drawing is left over his desk, another smile is decorating his face, another lollipop left the little pocket of his white coat and another worried mother thanks him.
He looks at the clock and sighs with grief. His shift is going to end soon and it means he has to go. And be at home, and see him. John doesn't want to see him. Not today, not ever. The new pediatrician asks if someone is not coming to work, or if they need him for an extra shift.
He opens the door and the lights are on. The man who sleeps beside him every night is lying on the large sofa, wearing his pajamas and his blue robe. And John's nostrils are meeting a new scent, but he ignores it when in the deep of his mind he knows what that new scent means.
His pale hands are carrying two shop bags and his bag. John hurries his way to the kitchen and places all the food he bought in the fridge. He got sugar, and thank God he did, because he's not been happy drinking his Earl Grey without sugar and it supposed to give him five minutes of happiness, joy and a fulfilled life. Tea hasn't been giving him those feelings lately.
John's blue eyes meet a basket full of dirty clothes and he sighs tiredly. It's late, he needed those clothes and obviously no one did the laundry. He shakes his head and decides he's not going to say a word about it. He's going to keep his mouth shut and he's going to do the laundry and pray to have pair of pants a his white coat dry for another day at work tomorrow.
The telly is on but again, no one is hearing or watching it. He moves from the kitchen to the sitting room to ask him if he was going to eat. John's throat is dry and sore. Every time he wants to talk to him he can't articulate a word. Because being close to him hurts him.
And Sherlock Holmes doesn't know how painful he is. How painful his existence, his silence, his presence and even his breathing is.
John stops. He looks outside the window and remembers the special deal he got from Angelo. The Italian man, owner of one of the most beautiful and coziest restaurants in London assured him that they- he could get all the food he wanted for free. And the Doctor hated to go and eat without paying when he had money in his pocket but this time he needs to go out. He needs air and he needs to go away. And when Billy, one of Angelo's assistants gestures him to have the same table they used to have every time after a case, the one in front of the window, he shakes his head and decides to sit in the last table he finds. Spaghetti. He orders Spaghetti and the round man, with his uncharacteristic Italian accent greets him but he doesn't ask for his husband. John can't feel more relieved.
He shakes his head when Billy offers him wine. That purple, violet liquid inside the glass makes him feel sick, because John, in the very deep of his mind and soul, hates purple. He can't see anything good in that shade.
Purple was the color of love, passion. Purple was Sherlock's color.
Purple is the color of hatred, indifference and silence.
It's getting late, and he works very early tomorrow. John lets his eyes dance on the sky up above. The stars are shinning, more than any other day if you ask him, and he tries to remember the constellations and planets he learned back in primary school. John smiles. He smiles because he has a poster with all the planets in his office and every time he needs to distract his little patients of vaccines, he asks them to look at that poster and name all the planets of the Solar System.
But when he stops when he realizes he's in front of his door. He can't remember how he got there, but eventually he's taking the stairs and he can only hear silence. He must be asleep. Please god, tell me he's sleeping is crossing his mind and he sighs in relief when he sees that the other man is actually sleeping. Sherlock Holmes sleeps like a baby and John suspects he's taking pills to sleep because he's not the person who goes to bed at ten in the night and wake up very early in the morning for work. The Doctor knows this since the first time they'd met. The Detective barely slept, but now he sleeps even if the ceiling is falling over them.
John goes to check on his clothes. The pants are dry as his coat.
He changes his clothes and remove the duvets and the sheets and closes his eyes just to open them again and watch at that random point in the ceiling. He wonders if that point laughs at him. Every single night, they meet and every single night, John rolls into different positions until his eyes are finally closed and glued.
The ex Army Doctor is now in Morpheus arms. The Greek God of the dream land takes him to the most impossible and sometimes lovely scenarios. He remembers one, one in which they are together and nothing and no one can stop them from loving each other. John's hands travel on Sherlock's curly head and the other man smiles. He's the owner of one of the most beautiful smiles John has ever seen. But he can only see that smile in his dreams. In reality, he doesn't smiles. And he wonders when was the last time her saw that smile.
But the Greek God is good when he rocks him to those beautiful memories John is so grateful for. Because he prefers to have those memories in his dreams and not when he's awake. Because he can't allow himself to cry as the many times he wanted to.
Morpheus seems to be angry, because he violently throws John back to Earth. And the clock alarm sounds in his bedside table and before his husband could say a word, he turns it off and makes his way to the bathroom.
John smiles to the mirror and decides to be happy for five minutes with a warm cup of Earl Grey with sugar and milk, please. Sometimes he forgets he doesn't live alone, that someone else is sleeping beside him every night, because that is as close as they are now. They only share a bed, a sheet and a warm duvet.
He finds Sherlock leaning on the kitchen counter, drinking tea and looking directly into his eyes. John stops, let his white coat lean over one of the chairs and mutter a word for the first time in days.
And he prays to not hear nothing in return. Nothing. Not a single word or even a breath. But his blue eyes are wide open when he sees his mug filled with tea, milk and two sugars ready for him.
John sits in his usual place, in his armchair and drinks his tea.
And he's happy.
He can feel the warm tea traveling from his mouth to the rest of his body like gasoline. John's eyes are closed and he cannot see what's going on in front of him but he can feel it. Fingers over the keyboard of a black BlackBerry. Then, steps moving away from him. A long coat grazing the wood material of the door and then a slam.
Sherlock's gone. Again.
When John finishes his tea, he washes his mug and gets ready. His bag is full of files, pens, lollipops and two sandwiches for his break. He hangs his bag on one shoulder, his right shoulder, his good shoulder and then he takes his white coat with his other arm.
The fresh and slightly cold weather in London is boring and typical. But he feels how his facial expression changes. He's not now the prisoner of a love he thinks is gone. He's now Doctor Watson, the favorite one of the kids that frequent Surgery.
John Watson has a double life. He lives two lives that are completely the opposite and those lives were like oil and water. Two things that could never be mixed in one. Because Doctor John Watson knows it's better that way. Because the problem isn't a problem. The problem is that it hurts him. What John Watson doesn't want to know, correction- he knows but he chooses to forget is in Baker Street. Because John Watson is a masochistic. What is inside Baker Street is hurting him, is causing him the most painful feeling in his chest, in his heart. But he chooses to stay and suffer.
Mary is cleaning his office when he arrives and he smiles at the nurse. She bought him a special and colorful plate to put the lollipops for his patients and there are also flowers in a vase. The office smells different of course, and the frames with his diplomas are also clean. She tells him she had taken the freedom to clean his desk and even decorate it to make it look better for the kids. He sits and let his eyes travel over the new decor: a vase with flowers and a little monkey puppet near his computer. To his right, she placed Sherlock's picture in a new frame, one with pink and red hearts. The plate with lollipops and candies are the last touch. He thanks her and she leaves him alone, letting the first patient in.
Minutes have become into hours and it's his lunch break. John unpacks his sandwiches and shares his break with other Doctor. They talk about new medicines, medical congresses and then he realizes that tomorrow is his birthday. And he has to say thanks to the nurses for remind him. They are all sweet women, but they are also a bit exaggerated. John overhears the preparations about the cake, the present and even the secret decoration of the place. Mary suggests to invite his husband too and John wants to scream. Sherlock Holmes would never be there, wishing him a very happy day or even smiling to his colleagues.
John can't even imagine him with his patients. Then he realizes Sherlock doesn't know, doesn't care he's a pediatrician now. He might not remember his birthday.
Sherlock Holmes must forget his birthday.
This time, Morpheus doesn't show up. John can't believe he's turning forty nine alone in a dark flat, watching crap telly and drinking tea without milk. He curses to himself. He bought milk just the day before and now there's no milk, but he's not going to ask where the milk has gone, because he knows or at least believes where or in what had been used.
And, as I said before, tea is the only thing that makes John Watson happy. In his birthday, he doesn't have that happiness and joy at eight in the morning as every day.
John needs to go to work and there's no one to say bye. No one to wish him a very happy day. And once he's out of Baker Street, the another John Watson borns between the trees of Regent's Park and a new smile is on his pale face. God gives him a lovely day as a birthday present and he smiles because maybe he's doing it to compensate his sadness. And hell, he's doing it rather well!
Mary is the first one to greet him. And his blue eyes are wide open when he sees the waiting room. Happy Birthday Dr. John is written in a large poster hanging over the reception. It had lots of little hands painted in different colors and under them he can read their names. His patients names. All of them, all of those kids that gave him a smile every day and illuminated his soul, that soul hidden in the darkness.
There are also gloves, kids with their home made cards and even a huge vanilla cake. Doctor Watson smiles and two or three tears are falling from his eyes. The mothers can't stop one or two tears too and their kids don't understand what's going on. They don't want their Doctor to be sad. They want him to be happy.
Because he made them all happy.
All but himself.
He lies. He says his husband is away in Scotland working for the police. And he does it because he wants to stay. John doesn't want to be alone in Baker Street. He doesn't want to be locked inside that cage again.
Even when he knows he can be free.
But it's time to go back, and nothing can't stop that moment. John opens the door, juggling with his bag, his white coat, the poster and a bag full of birthday cards and little presents. The nurse staff gave him a new stethoscope with funny colors. And the other Doctors gave him a new pen with his name on it. He's frowning. He can feel the lights on and movements on the floor. John prays and prays almost out aloud to the sky above to not share more than ten or twenty minutes with that man.
The door is open and there is he, trying to fix one of the strings of his expensive and posh violin. Sherlock never turns around to greet him and he never says a word. John has a shower, cooks some rice and sits in his armchair to watch the news. He puts one plate over the desk without saying a word. One of the female journalist repeats the date and John curses inside. But he finishes his food and turns around to see his husband furiously typing in his phone. He didn't touch the food. John sighs quietly, just for himself, and makes his way to the kitchen to wash the dishes and then he goes to their room. He looks at the clock in his bedside table. It's midnight. His birthday is gone. He's forty nine now.
And for the first time in more than ten years, his husband hasn't say a word.
The Doctor closes his eyes and he meets with Morpheus. The Greek God takes his hand to give him another good dream, and the mythology's character smiles. He smiles because today John deserves more. No one is giving him what he deserves. His husband takes him for granted. John takes himself for granted. So in his dreams, he's going to be the man he deserves to be. But hey, he's not that man because people doesn't want him to be. He's no the man he deserves to be because he doesn't want it.
In his dream, John is free.
John is walking down the park, holding hands with him. He's smiling and talking. Sherlock asks John how was his day and the Doctor answers naturally. His words, his lips moving, his hands feels so natural that John forgets they haven't been like that long time ago. There are also kids running between them, smiling and laughing. But everything is about them. Just them.
He feels it. He feels like it has been ages since he had been there walking and talking with their hands glued together. John looks up above, he looks for Morpheus but he doesn't appear. He can only hear him. The Greek God asks him if he wants to stay. His lips are moving in a such a way he's almost convincing him. The charms of such an endless happiness, joy and mostly important, Sherlock inside that eternal dreams are very tempting, John admits. He promises him no harm, no pain, no silence.
And John shakes his head. He knows he will untie the hatred of the owner of the dream land, but he doesn't want a lie. He wants to live in the reality, even if it means all the opposite of the offer. Morpheus screams and the waters turn from blue to red as towards the sky above him, and Sherlock disappears. The kids are gone. And John is just standing in the yellow and lifeless grass, alone in a dark and eternal silence. The God warned him. He showed him how his life could be if he decided to wake up.
But far away from accepting his deal, John smiles at him and decides to go back, even when he hears Morpheus words. He's going to close his eyes soon just to never open them again.
Days later, John meets another basket full of dirty clothes. He separates shirts from pants, socks from underwear and prepares the washing machine when he smells something different. They may be away from each other, but the Doctor can differentiate his husband's own perfume. John can smell a new perfume in Sherlock's shirt collar and he lets one heavy tear fall from his blue eyes. He wonders how one of the most clever men in the world could fail in such detail. But he laughs, and he knows his husband is hearing that laugh from his armchair in the sitting room. John laughs because he knows what Sherlock thought. John Watson is just a Doctor. He's stupid. He doesn't worth it. After all, to Sherlock Holmes, John Watson was another piece of furniture. John knew it, and polished himself with the sleeve of his blue jumper and filled himself with a cup of tea.
This time he's sitting in front of his husband, drinking tea and trying to be happy for at least five minutes. He wish he could own a tea factory, he would be the most happy man in the world. But he's John Watson. A pediatrician, ex Army Doctor. Nothing more. John's blue eyes meet Sherlock's grey ones. The Doctor's eyes stops in every curve of those high cheekbones and he wonders who's the new owner of his husband's lips and words.
Once, the Detective told him he was the most interesting man in the world. That he was the only unsolved puzzle in his life. Oh God, that happened long time ago. And in seconds, John's life beside Sherlock Holmes runs in his mind like a movie, everything in slow motion. Bart's laboratory, Mrs Hudson asking him if they needed two bedrooms, Angelo's dinners, a dead cabbie, his chest full of Semtex in a dark pool, their first kiss, their first night together, their wedding. Their first silence and finally their last touch.
John Watson wonders what's going on Sherlock's mind. Deductions, files being deleted, information being stored... John Watson's file is gone. That file with more than ten years of caring, touches, kisses, friendship and love has been erased.
He wants to say it, but the silence defeats him. Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Punchline, the man who can outlive God to have the last word can't say a word.
She sees him and asks him what was going on. His hands are shaking and his head is killing him. She tries to keep him calm while John tries to assure her he's fine, that nothing is wrong with him and it just stress, that he had a bad night, that he couldn't sleep. That he only needs to have some rest, but he's fine. She doesn't believe him, and she tells him so. The Doctor nods and eats his own tears because no one can help him and no one will. He's alone in this and alone he will be. He knows Mary won't leave his office until he tells her what's going on, but his next patient is waiting for him, and John Watson has another little kid to help, another drawing to hang on the wall of his office and another lollipop to give.
Mary Morstan finally nods and leaves. His next patient comes in he draws a smile in his face, and his blue eyes shine again.
John's hands stop shaking and he feels how his brain relaxes inside his skull. The pain is gone and the fake and ghostly happiness and shade of the good Doctor John Watson reappears. He feels like he's a new person when he starts his shifts. Once he leaves Baker Street, a new John Watson borns, but this new John Watson dies before the day comes to an end.
And the day goes by as any other day. Kid after kid, worried mother after worried mother, and loads of lollipops are gone. He takes off his white coat and the colorful stethoscope which attracted most of his patients attention and was hanging from his neck is also removed. Before John turns the lights off, he glances at his desk. At Sherlock's picture.
The frame Mary got for him is so pretty and nice that he feels it would be a shame to punish it, to throw it just for the pain the man in that picture his causing him. His left hand stops and his eyes scan the picture, remembering the moment of that photograph, but he can only remember three words he hasn't heard long time ago and he thinks he will never hear again, at least not addressed to him. Sherlock Holmes is smiling and his eyes are shining. Their heads were glued together and their cheeks were blushed with happiness.
The hell is in the same Earth and the demons are walking between the living ones.
And John removes the picture from the frame and throws it to the bin.
The broken object is over the table rolling from one side to other and the sun is filtering through the dirty glass of the windows reflecting the colors inside the kaleidoscope. But even broken, its making funny, undefined and colorful shapes in the opposite wall. A pale hand takes the object and it dies when is smashed against the floor, showing the different beads and gems that used to give the object its psychedelic effect.
A dark silhouette moves from the place he's standing to his usual black armchair with a violin in his hands that are perfectly used to this violin and with a quick, studied and a very neat movement he supports his face over the chin rest and let his fingers dance over the scroll and then to the fingerboard. The other hand moves in the air holding the bow and soft, hurtful and dark notes are produced by this man and his violin.
The only audible sound is developed by this dark haired man and his violin. The curtains are wide open and the glasses are dirty but the light fights and win, illuminating the only man alive in that room and his dark music. The little pieces of broken frames and ripped pictures are shinning too and then the notes change their rhythm and the violinist is losing control.
The bow his hurting the strings of his precious instrument and the fingers of the tall musician are bleeding. He stands up and walks until he's just inches away from him and continues playing heavily with erratic movements, frowning with the sun light that is also entering from the window in front of the bed. It shines over his pale and expressionless face. His grey irises are shinning.
Sherlock Holmes isn't crying. He's just playing the violin because he needs to think why the man lying in his bed is dead.
Tick tock goes the clock.
Originally written between March 10th and April 4th at home, in endless bus trips, during breaks at school in the library, at hospital (I've just realized I kept the pen one of nurses lent me to write something to fight boredom before I could shoot the walls), and in my sleepless nights.
Posting this now because I'm not that brave #justsaying #thisisnottwitter #Imjustbeingsarcasticyouknow
This will continue if people really want me to. It will be OK if you don't, though. I'd love to read your opinions no matter your language. I'm fluent in English as you see, Spanish is my first language and I can read a bit of Italian and Portuguese and a little little bit of French. Answering reviews in such different languages could be a good challenge.