Author's Notes: Did one for John. Might as well do one for Sherlock, yeah? Suppose this is technically pre-Reichenbach Fall.
Brilliant and Bizarre
People believe that Sherlock Holmes has no emotions. This is flagrantly false. What Sherlock lacks is not emotion but empathy. He understands it on an intellectual level, is able mimic it on command, and might, on a very rare occasion, actually even be capable of small spurts of the true thing (though only when it comes to his Important People).
It is, however, simply not his default setting.
Emotions though, emotions are something Sherlock has in abundance. They don't, of course, follow the normal defined patterns of most other human beings but that is hardly the point. The point is that they exist. Sherlock not only has them but experiences them with the same intensity as a child – unchecked, unfiltered emotion. Sherlock has never learned how to deal with them in the same way as most adults. He does not have the control, the checks and balances that the rest of us learn as we grow.
So he shuts them down instead.
He shuttles his emotions – which he deems both pointless and useless – into a box in the back of his mind and throws away the key.
The box, unfortunately, is not fool proof. It leaks and becomes overfull to the point of flooding. Sometimes it breaks down altogether in a flash flood of emotion.
Sherlock hates when this happens. His mind, he believes, should be able to overcome his emotions.
Sherlock is brilliant. Utterly, fantastically brilliant. Calling him a genius is insufficient. Sherlock's mind is so sharp that it could cut itself.
This, John suspects, is exactly what happens when Sherlock gets in one of his moods. Without sufficient stimulus that luminescent mind turns to the only place it can: in on itself.
Sherlock will shoot the walls to avoid this state.
John thinks this is an improvement on the drugs, which are, to all appearances, the other option.
Sherlock self identifies, quite readily, as a high functioning sociopath. It's a telling label. One that matches with his ability to manipulate the emotions of others (one has only to reference his acting skills on a case), his history of substance abuse, and his complete disregard for both proper legal procedure and his own safety. His arrogance and his general lack of remorse only further the case.
Sherlock is very precise about this label however. Suggestions that he is a psychopath – rather than a sociopath – are met with quick denials and a scathing retort about the intellectual deficiencies of the speaker. The differences between the two are subtle and not entirely agreed upon, but there is something there, in the idea of psychopathy, that Sherlock objects to. Strenuously.
The requirements for being labeled a psychopath are actually quite specific and Sherlock simply does not match them.
This, he thinks, is vitally important.
Psychopaths are known for disregarding the rights of others, and while Sherlock regularly disregards the right to privacy he does have enough of a moral compass to not be quite so flippant about other basic human rights. Moreover, psychopaths are supposed to have shallow emotions. Sherlock, when he allows himself to acknowledge them, has emotions that are anything but shallow. There are other differences, particular and important, that Sherlock latches onto. This matters, this is Important.
John, though, doesn't care in the least. To John, Sherlock is Sherlock and that is, quite simply, it. John neither scoffs at his disorder nor allows Sherlock to use it as an excuse. He is quite happy to point out to Sherlock when he is being A Bit Not Good.
Sherlock, oddly, finds this refreshing.
And Sherlock is learning too. Unwillingly and slowly, but learning. He sees it now, sees what he does wrong and fixes it if the person matters.
Very few people matter. But that seems to be okay.
Maybe one day he'll be able to catch it before he makes the mistake.
John holds out hope. That one day the brilliant and bizarre creature that is Sherlock Holmes will one day be a good person as well as a great one.
And if not, well, John still isn't going anywhere.
And neither is Sherlock.
Not if he can help it.