Author's Note: ANGELS has once again, begun actively posting this May 2014. It has been a difficult journey the past year, thank God for dear family and friends. Thank you for your much-appreciated kindness during this time. 'sky'


These lads in their current incarnation belong to the BBC and not to me, and in their original incarnation to the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, may his name be blessed.


Part One: Acclamations

Ch. 1





ACCLAMATIONS: Cast of Characters, Revolving:

Sherlock Holmes, Sir - Consulting Detective (Genius), holder of three University degrees, Chemist, recovered (?) drug addict, betrothed companion to Doctor John H. Watson (the only enduring mystery in Sherlock's life – save one)

John H. Watson, Sir – former Captain, RAMC, recipient of the Victoria Cross, medical doctor and experienced battle surgeon, suffers from recurring PTSD, recovering drug addict (currently stripped of his medical license), betrothed companion to Sherlock Holmes

Mycroft Holmes, A minor official in the British Government, elder brother of Sherlock (Official Secrets Act prevents further disclosure)

Victoria Regina Elizabeth Holmes (modern Goddess not in disguise), known as Regina, mother of Mycroft and Sherlock, Keeper of the Holmes family secrets, of which there are several

Mrs. Martha Hudson, Landlady, (not their housekeeper), Surrogate Mum and Confidante to Sherlock and John, baker of Fairy Cakes (lemon), proud of her Boys

D.I. Gregory Lestrade, widowed father of two young daughters, a good man, but lonely, had it up to here with 'all things Holmes,' including John Watson

Anthea / Lizabeth (Modern Goddess in disguise), betrothed to Agent Jacob Lynn. (Secrets Act invoked)

Agent Jacob "Jake" Lynn, Hero, employee of aforesaid minor U.K. official; betrothed to Lizabeth; friend and confidante of Doctor John H. Watson, took bullets meant for Sherlock, doesn't regret it.

Deborah – No Last Name (Secrets Act), goddess in training, assistant to Anthea

Agent Don Williams, Hero, employee of minor U.K. official, friend of Doctor John H. Watson

Agent Terry Roaman, Hero, employee of minor U.K. official, friend of Doctor John H. Watson (the tattoos are his idea)

Agent Rob Enders, Hero, Deceased. Former employee of minor U.K. official. Died saving Doctor Watson's life. John cannot forgive himself.

Lori Hansen, R.N., Hero, savior of and friend to Doctor John H. Watson. Father MIA in Afghanistan. Tiny but courageous. Betrothed to:

Joe Rodriguez, Sgt., employed by D.I. Lestrade, betrothed to Ms. Hansen

Officer Cates, partner to Sgt. Joe Rodriguez

Anthony Hale, Artist, Writer, Filmmaker, former betrothed of Rob Enders

Tony Enders, younger brother of Rob Enders. Tony's life was saved by Captain John H. Watson in Afghanistan, and he is now the father of twin boys: John and Robbie. *

Dr. Margaret Oakton, Psychological Consultant, Hero, "freelance" employee of U.K. official, she and Mycroft have a shared history (?), betrothed to:

Dr. Galen Dennison, Addiction Psychiatrist, Hero, betrothed to Maggie Oakton

Dr. Thomas Fields, the Holmes Family Physician (you should be so lucky), still makes house calls

Molly Hooper, Forensic Pathology Assistant, St. Bart's morgue, nobody's baby, trusted friend of Sherlock Holmes

Harriet "Harry" Watson, recovering alcoholic, divorced sister of Dr. John H. Watson

D.I. Dimmock – "I go where you point me, Mr. Holmes."

Clara, formerly married to Harriet Watson, occasional confidante of Dr. John H. Watson

Angelo, Proprietor of Italian Restaurant frequented by Holmes and Watson, friend of Sherlock. Sherlock and John's money is no good at Angelo's

Sherlock's Homeless Network, Revolving

The Sub adjutant to the Korean delegation, likes them tall and ginger

Mr. Harry Jenkins – Regina's Driver (too Elderly to drive, according to British law); treasured "family" member and all around dogs body

Mrs. Robinson, Housekeeper to Regina Holmes, insists on ironed sheets and freshly-aired linens, takes guff from no one, including Regina, takes a shine to John Watson

Dr. William Merit, Cardiologist, friend and colleague of Maggie Oakton, John Watson's doctor at St. Anne's

Dr. Anderson, Forensic Specialist and Pain in the arse, particularly at crime scenes, he and Sherlock detest each other, usually

James Moriarty (the memory of), Criminal Mastermind, deceased

Sally Donovan (the memory of), Police Sgt., deceased

Sebastian Moran (the memory of), soldier of fortune, deceased

Dr. Marcus Franks (the memory of), cowardly disgrace to the title of Physician, deceased

Lord Bennett Crandall, "missing" member of the House of Lords, murdering bastard, member of terror cabal, cousin to:

Gianetta Crandall, neighbor to Regina Holmes, cousin of Bennett, likes them young with stamina, not involved in terror cabal

Ronald Adair, enigmatic, cold-hearted, plotting bastard, successor to James Moriarty (deceased criminal mastermind), wants Holmes and Watson dead, willing to bide his time – up to a point

Billy, nephew and employee of Angelo

Dr. Virgil Thompson, Rector, Saint Bartholomew's parish

Miles Jackson, coward and murdering bastard, member of terror cabal, soon to go "missing" in the Amazon

Thea Brown, mentally confused murderess, member of terror cabal

Cynthia McReedy, extremely mentally confused accessory to murder, sister of deceased agent James McReedy, indirectly involved in terror cabal, tried to kill John

Michael "Mick" Billings, "missing" soldier of fortune, assassin

Jonathan Glenn, "missing" soldier of fortune, assassin

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (cameo role)

Various household staff in the Holmes family mansion

Various medical doctors, nurses and specialists

Various members of the English aristocracy - some of them sober

Doctor David Brisco, Haematologist, head of the lab utilized by Callista/Anthea, broken-hearted at her engagement, tries to keep a stiff upper lip

Enrique Stephanos Cordoa, Sherlock's physical therapist – and violin instructor

The pharmacist at St. Anne's

Mysterious stranger - # 1

Mysterious stranger - # 2

One Guarneri violin, Il Tramonto Rosa – "The Sunset Rose", insured for upwards of £ 13 million, sterling, currently in the safekeeping of: Sherlock Holmes, Sir

And one vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle – brilliant yellow (originally)


CH. 1 WARNINGS: REAL LIFE, which can be a Royal Bitch at the best of times. Language; references to Drug Addiction, both ongoing and former; Disturbing Dreams; Thoughts of Self Harm; And enough heartfelt declarations of love and affection to cause you to go blind. Oh, yeah: ANGST.

PROMISE: Men verbally pummeling each other.

(This ongoing work depicts two men in a consensual, adult relationship, with all of its connotations, often bordering on extreme possessiveness. It also frequently depicts violence, including scenes of torture and cold-blooded murder. Not to mention the upcoming sugary fluff. I trust that if you are underage, you will pay attention to the Chapter Warnings and wherever called for, shut down your browser and go watch GLEE. If you choose to skip a chapter, I won't fault you at all. Just so we're clear. Thanks! "sky" )

# # #

Is this the world, the dreams,

the loves, events, delights,

we spoke about so much together?

Is this our human life?

Giacomo Leopardi

The Canti – To Silvia (XXI)

# # #

There is a man, a doctor and a surgeon by education, a soldier by training, seasoned in combat, a warrior and leader of men, courageous in battle, tempered in blood, with an unassuming nature and an open heart - in so much emotional pain, he can barely breathe.

There is a man, holder of three University degrees, a brilliant chemist, with a mind like quicksilver, capable of exhibiting extraordinary leaps of logic, far beyond the kin of what is considered "normal" – terrified of screwing up the most important job of his life – keeping his partner alive.

That these two individuals live with each other is a matter of simple observation.

That these two individuals live of and for each other is not always discernible.

And that is their problem in a nutshell.

# # #


221B Baker Street – 01:00 a.m.

33 hours after Rob Enders' death; 10 hours after John's last attack

The thunder sounds far off. It hasn't reached them yet, but the wind has picked up and Sherlock hears it as it rockets around their building.

Sherlock turns his wrist and glances at his watch dial. His eyes widen and he gently withdraws his arms from around John. He manages to extricate himself from his Army doctor without awakening the man, leaves their bed, then quickly pads, barefoot, to their kitchen. He finds what he is looking for in the refrigerator, fills the syringe and gathers a few supplies. Back in their bedroom, he sits on the edge of their bed and regards the sleeping man in front of him.

John Watson is drowned in sleep. He breathes so quietly, Sherlock can barely hear it under the sound of occasional wind gusts. He watches John's chest rise and fall in the faint light that comes from their window. Sherlock leans to the side and turns on the bedside lamp on its lowest setting. John does not awaken or indicate by the slightest movement that he is aware the other man has left their bed.

Sherlock gently turns John's right arm toward him. He stops moving and his pale eyes narrow at the signs of the frequent needle injections that track up and down John's arm. After a moment's hesitation, he wipes John's skin with the alcohol swab he has with him, then carefully injects the hypodermic under the skin. All the while, he watches John's face for some sign that his doctor is cognizant of what is happening to him.


Sherlock frowns at this, as he holds the tiny piece of cotton in place over the injection site for a moment, then places the empty syringe on the bedside table. Finally, he stands and watches John breathe, lit by the faint yellow glow. He notes the slight sheen of sweat that covers John's forehead. John turns over in his sleep, and his hand automatically reaches out for Sherlock. At least he is not in the throes of nightmare, Sherlock thinks, grateful for small favors.

After watching John for any signs he is rejecting the formula, the detective clicks the lamp off, crawls carefully back into bed, scoots toward his sleeping doctor, and pulls the covers back over them both. John murmurs once, then settles back down immediately.

Snuggled against John, Sherlock lies in the dark and listens to the wind as it picks up and the distant sound of thunder, no closer now than it was a few minutes before. The rain has not begun, it may even pass them over, doubtful, but the wind is now a constant. Sherlock hears it as a steady percussive as it attacks their windows. He shuts his eyes and tries to sleep, but the wind, staccato, interrupts his thought patterns.

Beside him, John begins to stir. And moan.

# # #


John is dreaming.

In John's dream, he runs in and out of the cells, each one colder and seemingly more gray than the last, each one built of stone, from what appear to be ancient carved blocks. A few of them have heavy wooden doors, partially eaten away. Most do not. The floors are impacted dirt, some of them have traces of sand in the corners. A few rooms have what appears to be actual concrete floors, frigid underfoot. It may be concrete. He's not certain.

He's not certain of anything at the moment. Only of his growing fear.

He searches desperately as he runs, his fists clenched at his side. His hands are balled so tight, he can feel the single band of engraved precious metal that circles his finger as it presses into his skin. He gives each room a cursory glance, then hurries to the next. There appear to be dozens of rooms, hundreds, all connected by a narrow corridor. How can he possibly search them all before the Dark overwhelms him?


Each room is barren. Empty. Well, nearly. Some of them show signs of previous occupation in the chains that lie in the corners, coiled upon themselves and rusted. At least, he thinks the dull red tint is rust. He does not pause to examine them further. He hopes it is rust.

As he runs, his breath comes in gasps and his heart labors, but he doesn't slow down. He calls his name, over and over. The two precious syllables echo down the long passageway. He can hear and feel occasional gusts of wind as the frigid air blasts its determined way into the ancient structure, ricochets off the stone walls, then pushes against his face as he runs. He is chilled now to the bone. But he keeps on running. And calling.


The corridor seems to lengthen, as these things are wont to do in dreams, and becomes darker. John is achingly aware that he has long since left the Light behind him.

He calls out and shudders at the hoarse sound of his own voice. There is precious little time left, he knows. He's known for hours that he's being followed. **

He hears something close behind him. Closer still. He cries out.


# # #


221B Baker Street – 1:20 a.m.

"All right now?"

Sherlock's voice is low, the beautiful baritone not as hoarse-sounding as it was two days earlier.

John does not answer, disoriented from the nightmare. He shifts against the other man, and tries to dispel the disquieting dream by glancing around their dark room, first at the window, the outline of which he can just make out in the shifting light, then at the small bedside table. As his eyes adjust to the gloom, they widen. He realizes a hypo lies there.

Shite. Is he – was he so out of it he didn't even realize? Did Sherlock – why didn't Sherlock wake him?

"Later for that," John thinks. First –

"Where were you?"

It is a demand, spoken in a harsh whisper. John's voice is jagged. He wants to know.

Sherlock's eyes close in pain, then he reopens them and bends his head toward John's neck.

"Bringing you back to life."

John's hand, now clutched in Sherlock's fingers, tightens briefly, then relaxes.

The detective hears the small intake of breath. His crystalline eyes glance toward the window, where the faint light from the street struggles, uncertain of itself. Any moment, the rain will begin, Sherlock thinks. The wind has died down somewhat and it's been a while since he heard thunder. But he can smell the rain in the air. The sky was full of it when they returned – was it less than 24 hours ago?

Once it starts, he muses, it will rain all day, for hours on end, well into the following night. Other than the basic necessities of life, he sees no reason to move from this bed today. That is, if the outside world will leave them alone, leave them in peace.

"Give us this one day," he thinks. "Just this one. For us … No. For John."

John moves slightly against Sherlock, his back to the detective's chest.

"Bringing me back to life."

"Yes, John. It takes time and effort. Myriad details. Mycroft is working on it, as is his assistant. But I—:"

"I needed you."

Sherlock's breath releases in one long warm huff against the back of John Watson's neck.

"Well, you've got me now."

Neither man moves.

Then – "Are you going away again?"

Sherlock's arms tighten and he pulls John closer, if that is even possible. His fingers encounter the soft pads around the new injury and he winces, moves his arm lower.

"No. John. I'm not going anywhere."

John says nothing.

Sherlock waits. The familiar sweet heartache washes over him.

After a full minute, John nods. Sherlock feels the slight movement against his breastbone.

"All right, then."

Sherlock relaxes marginally. He curls around John's back and hums softly.

"That is, unless we're out of milk and I need to go to the shops – or something."

Dead silence.

"It's official. We've reached the outer circles of Hell," John whispers. He pulls Sherlock's hand more tightly around his chest and shuts his eyes.

"Oh shut up, you idiot."

The two men sleep.

# # #

It's early for the both of them, but neither one seems to mind. He seems to have been slightly distracted all morning, although it's a word she's never used for Mycroft Holmes. She pokes her head in and smiles at him. He has written names on the pad, foregoing his Blackberry. He taps them with his pen. MILES JACKSON. THEA BROWN. RONALD ADAIR.

When she comes to stand next to him, she sees that the last name has been circled and underlined.

He glances up at her and his gaze softens. He has not missed the tiny bandage that encircles her ring finger. He, too, is a connoisseur of classic films, a habit born of too many sleepless nights and the need for some sort of mental stimulus. He assumes she changes it each morning and finds the fact charming.

Mycroft's mind works through the permutations at lightning speed.

"Jake Lynn, Agent Lynn, is not a man to let grass grow under his feet. Nor is he going to take the chance that she might change her mind. But he has to fully recuperate. And there's physical therapy to get through. On the other hand, Lizabeth is just as determined. She'll want things done properly. Neither one of them will want to interfere with John and Sherlock's big day. Late summer it is then. Lynn has always been one of my more determined men, so –" Mycroft accepts the hot mug of tea from her hands. Nods his thanks. "First child due – bare minimum – eleven months after wedding, perhaps twelve. Fifteen months then, before she gives her notice. Perhaps less. Lynn will not want her working – or out of his sight – during the end of the second and particularly the last trimester."

He makes a point to call his solicitor and inquire as to arranging for a trust fund for the first child. University educations are so expensive these days. It will make an acceptable wedding gift for his, his what? Right hand? Extension of self? Try: Human being without whom he will be unable to function?

Also, he will have to find a less dangerous position for Agent Lynn. One that does not entail his new bride wondering if she will be a widow before their first child is born. He makes a note to have Anthea check into Lynn's educational background. Perhaps Lynn will do as training instructor - or?

Mycroft frowns and she pauses momentarily, wonders if the tea is not to his liking. He just smiles and sips again, sets it in its accustomed spot, a scant few inches to his left.

"Thank you, my dear."

He watches her go out and realizes that Anthea has not said a word to him about the engagement. So, no plans set in stone yet. She will want to be certain before she approaches him.

He nods appreciatively and goes back to reading the morning dispatches.

John. Sometime this day he must check in on John – and his git of a brother. The bugs are, after all, in place. But not just yet. He vows to let the two settle in, to readjust. Decides to give them 24 hours before he intrudes with the information Sherlock requested. He lifts the mug of jasmine tea, imported blend, and sips appreciatively.

Perfect as always.

# # #

Ronald Adair glances around the conference room. He walks to the glass wall and looks out at the lake one last time. Then he nods briskly, picks up his Blackberry where he left it on the conference table and leaves the room without a backwards glance.

Presumably the new owners will now enjoy the view.

He, on the other hand, will enjoy their cash. Immensely.

He strides out of the building, does not say a word to her as he passes her by. She watches him go. Then sighs, forwards the phone lines, and bends to retrieve her handbag from the drawer. She stands, glances around, then leaves, locking the building behind her. Well, the money was nice while it lasted.

Could have done without the severed head, though.

On the other hand, she muses, as she fits the key into the lock of her car door, she rather misses the little guy. She always knew where she stood with him, more or less. She opens the door, glances down the road at the dark car as it drives away.

This Adair person, on the other hand - she shakes her head. Gets into the car. And drives away.

Behind her, a nondescript older model car pulls out of a parking lot and follows her down the road.

# # #


Baker Street – early afternoon

"Yes, John."

"No, Sherlock. I have to be shut of this –" the doctor waves his hand at the small black case the detective holds in his long fingers.

"I can't go on like this."

Sherlock cocks his head to one side and narrows his eyes at his soldier. "Go on like what, John? Living? Go on leading a more or less normal existence? Please explain, because I am uncertain what you—"

"Oh for god's sake!"

John turns from him and goes back into their living area. He wears his jim jams and old robe. His feet are bare. He flops down in his new/old chair and stares at the carpet. The refrigerator door opens and closes. A few seconds later, Sherlock's own bare feet stand in front of him, the long toes barely touching his own. John stares at the line of healing wounds that wrap around Sherlock's ankles. He frowns.

John's heart rate has sped up and he purposefully shuts his eyes, takes a deep calming breath, then another. One more. He can hear the rain, relentless, as it savages their windows, then sluices down the outer stones of their building. He wonders if it's raining all over the world.

He can feel the faintest of tremors under his skin. He ignores it. And opens his eyes to glance up at the taller man.

To say that Sherlock's look is dark is putting it mildly. He looks down at John, all the while his left hand with its bandaged wrist taps along his side. Both men are in their pyjamas and John watches as the long fingers beat a tiny rhythm, plucking at the material of the worn flannel trousers.

He looks back up at his partner. "Bach? Mozart?"

"Sibelius." Sherlock moves away and lies down on the new sofa. Actually, he collapses into it. He leans his head back against a pillow and looks at the ceiling, one leg cocked over the knee of the other. His hand, draped across his chest, continues to finger the opening movement to Violin Concerto in D minor, then –

"John. We discussed this before. You cannot go 'cold.' Not like this. Not with the obvious cardiac response you are still experiencing."

"Watch me."

Dead silence.

Sherlock's shaggy head lifts up and he shoots a look at his Army doctor. "Interesting," he drawls.

John looks back at him. "What is?"

Sherlock just looks him over, then lets his head fall back against the pillow. "I knew you could be stubborn – but deliberately obtuse? This new attitude of yours, my dear Doctor Watson, borders on the near suicidal."

John Watson stares at his paramour and his eyes narrow in barely disguised fury.

"You don't know a damn thing you're talking about." His sturdy fingers grip the arm rest of the hated chair.

He watches as the detective brings his hands together under his chin, while he continues to look upward at the stained ceiling. The long fingers tap just under Sherlock's lips, pursed now as he appears enamored with the stains in the plaster over his head.

"You've been on this dose for - what? Nearly seven weeks total? One of those spent in a near coma-like state. The formulation has been changed twice – no, three times. I was momentarily forgetting those doses that contained the hallucinatory. This particular formulary apparently causes rather marked fluctuations in behavior, the most obvious of which is agitation, extreme stubbornness and dare I say it? Belligerence." His right foot taps a rhythm against the knee of his left leg. He does not look over at John.

"You arse." John comes to his feet and briefly considers retreating to his old room. Then he realizes there is no bed there. He fists his hands and moves to stand next to the sofa and look down at Sherlock.

The other man barely moves his head as his eyes swivel to look up into John's dark blue gaze. He cocks an eyebrow.

"Obviously. I am an arse," he drawls again in that maddeningly deep voice. His hands drop to his chest and he considers his Army doctor.

"As for my 'not knowing a thing about it,' my dear John," he watches almost idly as John's right hand clenches in a tight fist. He smiles grimly. "As for my lack of knowledge in this area, aren't we being just a tad forgetful?"

"There are times," John says in a wrecked voice, "that I actually hate you."

Sherlock smiles at the ceiling. "Hate away, John. If it makes you see reason, hate away."

He stops moving and turns his head toward his companion. "And if you're planning on hitting me, then let's get it over with, so we can get back to the discussion at hand. We both know that all things being equal, I am no match for you in a fistfight. If you feel the need to beat me to a pulp, I can hardly prevent you. It might even be cathartic … for both of us."

He swings his long legs over the edge of the sofa and sits, his hands clasped in front of him, between his knees. He continues to stare upward at John.

"By my estimation, you have approximately three minutes before you go into a full-blown attack. At which time, I will, of course, inject you with your now missed dosage. After which, you will become drowsy and sleep for at least one hour, possibly longer, given your current state of exhaustion."

His grey eyes rake over John's form, vibrating now with suppressed anger – and the unmistakable tremors that precede an attack. He continues. "Undoubtedly longer."

John barely moves. He clenches and unclenches his fists and just stands there and looks down at Sherlock's dark head. And at the short line of stitches along the top of the skull. His eyes widen.

The emotion that seems to careen off the walls suddenly dissipates – and he lets out one long breath.

He reaches one hesitant hand toward the curls. Sherlock does not flinch or recoil from him by even the slightest degree. And John notices.

"Sherlock—" his voice is low, aching. The tremors race under his skin now and he knows that any minute, any fucking second, the other man will see. Hell, he's undoubtedly already seen.

John lets his hand drop to his side. He feels deflated. Cold. When did the flat become so cold? They need to light a fire. He turns from Sherlock but the other man grabs his wrist in those long fingers and holds on.

John turns back slightly and looks down into the pale eyes. Mercuric. He frowns when he notes Sherlock's slightly dilated pupils. Pain. Sherlock is experiencing head pain. Well, of course he is. He hasn't been taking the pills prescribed for him.

John wonders where they are. He needs to find Sherlock's pills and make the other man take them and lie down. Yes. All right. He has a plan then.

John pulls away and Sherlock's hand loosens its grip and lets him go. He watches as John crosses to the kitchen and looks among the growing detritus on their kitchen table. He can see the tremors that shake John's body, his too thin body.


John does not find what he looks for. He lifts his head and looks toward the open door.

"Your pills," John says in a loud whisper. "Your coat?"

Sherlock comes to his feet and looks at his Army doctor. He inclines his head. "Yes. In the pocket. I'll fetch them shortly."

"No," John says. He glances from the younger man to the door. "No. I'll get them. You need to take your medication, Sherlock. And lie down. We both do."

"John." Sherlock frowns, begins to move toward John.

John's body begins to shake in earnest and his vision clouds. He lifts a trembling hand to his forehead and tries to focus on the grey gaze in front of him. Oh, bloody hell. His blood sugar has plunged. Makes sense. Neither of them has eaten in – how long? And he's undoubtedly dehydrated also. Both of them … both of them need – Fuck, his blood is on fire. If only they still had …if only…but of course, the samples are gone and besides, Sherlock wouldn't help him by – Fuck!


Sherlock watches as the love of his life's eyes roll up in his head and he crashes toward the floor.

# # #

Eugenia Robinson, known to one and all in the Holmes household as Mrs. Robinson, glances around the library and nods, wholly satisfied. As she walks by table tops, her fingers trail slightly over the polished surfaces. She brings them up, rubs them together in front of her eyes. Most excellent. Not a trace of dust and Miriam has not been overly lavish with the polish.

She checks to make certain the latest newspapers and periodicals are distributed. They are.

Mrs. Holmes will be pleased. As is she.

"Mrs. Robinson?"

She glances at the doorway. Miriam stands there, neat as a pin, and waits for her orders.

Mrs. Robinson's thin lips move in the semblance of a smile. It's going to be a good day. If the men will refrain from dragging mud into the house, that is. All this rain now …. As she leaves the room, she stops to adjust one of the photographs of the boys in its silver frame. She smiles indulgently at young Mycroft in his school uniform and wee Sherlock with his tumbled curls and blazing smile, holding his brother's hand. She nods briskly at Miriam and the two women leave the room, the younger trailing the elder by a foot or two.

# # #


Baker Street

John's knees never impact the hard wood. Sherlock is there with a second to spare, catches his soldier's trembling body in his strong hands and holds on. After a few moments, he just bends and lifts the small body and lays it, as gently as possible, on their sofa. He pulls the new afghan (Unfamiliar. New. Mrs. Hudson?) toward him and covers John's legs, then smoothes the damp spikes of hair away from the closed eyes. He stares down at the doctor's unconscious form, then shakes his head and hurries to fetch a vial of medicine and a hypodermic.

Sherlock opens the fridge to grab one of the black cases, and notes the small supply of food. Someone – Mrs. Hudson again? – has stocked fresh milk and butter, eggs, even a loaf of the bread John likes, and several jars of what appears to be homemade jam. But that's about it. He stares at the near empty shelves, and frowns. He was kidding when he told John he'd go to the shops. He has no intention of doing so if it can be avoided. Sherlock snags John's new mobile off the kitchen table as he goes back to the doctor, hypo in hand. He punches in a familiar number while he walks.

Food ordered from Angelo's, Sherlock tosses the mobile onto John's chair, then pulls up the coffee table and perches on the edge, syringe in hand. He is loath to inject the man, again, while he is unconscious but the tremors have worsened. Not for the first time, he questions when John will be on oral dosages. Surely, it's time?

He prepares the needle, he's become quite adept at this, he thinks, then bends over John's shaking form and plunges the dose home. He tosses the empty syringe on the table next to him, holds a small square of cotton next to John's skin, and just watches. And waits.

Sherlock glances from John's pale face, covered now with a sheen of sweat, to the empty syringe. They will have to purchase an "official" container for these before the flat begins to resemble a drugs bust. In the meantime, Sherlock deposits them into an empty milk container.

His doctor groans and the dark blue eyes open. John stares at the ceiling for a moment, his fists clench, then relax. And he promptly shuts his eyes again. Sherlock considers his Army doctor's shaking form. He asked for one day to help his doctor recover. One day. Sherlock questions now if one year will be enough. Two?

Sherlock's head begins to pound in earnest and he runs both hands through his unruly hair and viciously tugs at the curls to try to bring sense to his tired mind. He thinks of his pills in the pocket of his coat, but does not consider leaving the sick man in order to fetch the bottle. And he's loath to spend this day in a state of drowsiness. He will be of no use to John like that.

Perhaps John is correct. They both need to rest. He glances at the windows. The rain comes down in grey sheets. They have nowhere to be. Nothing is expected of them on this day. As soon as John recovers from this attack and as soon as the food is delivered and he can get some down the doctor – and, yes himself - they will both retire to bed. And once they've slept, well, Sherlock can think of any number of activities to keep them in bed for the rest of the afternoon, long into the evening. Perhaps all night.

What comes tomorrow – comes.

John groans again. It's a quiet sound of pain, and Sherlock winces as he watches John come back to him. He watched John sleep for days in St. Anne's, when he wasn't certain, from one moment to the next, if the doctor was going to wake up, and when he did, if he'd still be the John Watson he knew. He watches his doctor sleep now, as if it's the very first time. He never wastes an opportunity to record fresh data about John Watson.

But in this instance, Sherlock is ready to make an exception.

He looks at the new pain lines etched into the open face, the smudged dark circles under his doctor's eyes, the too thin cheekbones, and at the left hand, which twitches, nearly imperceptibly, beside him. He calls up a mental photograph of John as he appeared in the clinic that afternoon, the day he was taken. He sees a John who was happy, healthy, at his correct weight, clear of eye and mind. He compares the two Johns - former and current – with the third John, vanishing in front of his eyes. He sees the John who awakened from his self-imposed sleep after Maggie Oakton gave him his "orders." That John – Soldier John - was happy, seemingly healthy, with a bloom of – if not health, then what? Determination? Quiet self-assurance? A renewed sense of purpose? He decides all of the adjectives apply.

Sherlock frowns. How can soldier John come back when the immediacy of the moment, the need to save all their lives has passed? What can he offer soldier John to keep him by Sherlock's side?

He needs a case. He will text Lestrade first thing tomorrow.

But even if Lestrade has something for them, how can he possibly fight John Watson's belief that he was the one who should have died in that entryway – and not Rob Enders?

Sherlock looks at John and despairs. Is this to be their lives now? He, Sherlock, trying to keep John safe, to keep him alive, and John fighting him each step of the way? And when did this role reversal occur? And is he even up for it?

They are both exhausted, physically, emotionally exhausted. But John's ordeal, Sherlock muses, has been the most horrendous; his the longest road. The detective makes a note to call Maggie Oakton as soon as possible. Tomorrow, in fact. At the same time, he will check on Galen Dennison's progress. John would make it a point to do so, that is if he – Great. That's three calls and add those to his activities on John's behalf the previous afternoon -

John opens his eyes a second time, blinks, then looks at the ceiling. Sherlock waits for his Army doctor to remember where he is. It happens faster than he hopes. John, rather sheepishly, turns his head toward Sherlock. Sherlock notes the trembling has all but ceased. Excellent. Dennison's drug is working. Now if he can just keep John on schedule. He will have to have his Army doctor's help with this. He cannot be on hand all the time, although he vows to do his damndest. Perhaps Mrs. Hudson? And how will John feel about that?

Sherlock looks into the troubled, dark blue gaze with its nearly blown pupils. The two men consider each other for a moment. John's gaze softens, more with embarrassment, then anything else.

A line from one of John's favorite movies comes to Sherlock.

"How goes it with you?" he asks quietly.

John looks into his lover's concerned gaze. And attempts to smile. His face doesn't – quite – make it.

"Sherlock," he whispers. That's all.

But it's enough.

Sherlock nods. He hears the doorbell and stands but he can hear Mrs. Hudson is there before him. He looks at John, who struggles to rise, then gives it up as a lost cause and falls back against the sofa cushions with a huff.

"Rest, we're going to eat, get some water in both of us, and go back to bed. Possibly forever." He rises to go to the door, then glances back at John's rather bemused expression.

"Doctor's orders," Sherlock says.

John Watson just looks at him. And nods tiredly. "Yes. All right." His eyes close.

# # #

She sets her cup of coffee on the desk in front of her, then glances at her list, neatly typed into her Blackberry. They are nearly at the end of the more mundane of the 'must do's."

She looks up at him.

"That leaves the repairs to the Harley."

He nods, encouragingly. He, too, is ready to call it a morning. Or afternoon.

She smiles. "Unfortunately, they cannot match it. Any color, we are told, except the original yellow. They do have enough to touch it out in the original paint, here and there. But that's all they can get, unless we are willing to wait. No yellow."

She glances up at his face, and at the slight mischievous glint in his steel eyes.

"Or rainbow."

Startled, he glances at her. She narrows her eyes and regards the man she has worked alongside for – how long now?

"My dear, I would never –"

"You were thinking it," she says steadily.

He grins at her. A rarity for Mycroft and she cherishes it. "Touché. Whatever color my future brother-in-law wants, then."

She nods, satisfied. "Indian Black it is then." She makes the note on her Blackberry. There. All done.

The two of them smile genially at each other.

# # #


Baker Street – late afternoon

The remains of a very satisfying mid-afternoon meal are spread out over various plates, and containers, most of them with forks still in, and deposited at the end of their bed, on the floor beside the bed and on the small table next to them.

Sherlock has made it a point to watch John eat and drink and has even done so himself, as he cannot recall the last time both men shared a meal together. It was in the mansion, then. And the less said about that, Sherlock feels, the better.

The rain shows no sign of stopping. Sherlock is grateful for this as the constant downpour has helped create a cocoon of sorts around the flat – and the two men who occupy it.

Both men lie, nearly naked and propped up on pillows – and each other – in that lazy surfeit that means the world can go to hell in a hand basket – neither of them has to be anywhere and neither of them has a thing to do. Just be with each other.

"Go on," Sherlock nudges the other man by moving his shoulder slightly into John's back. "Finish it."

John's bright head lies back against the detective's bare chest. He speaks in a lazy tone of voice, as if nothing in the world is the matter. Sherlock is not deceived. But he wants to hear the end of the joke.

"Well, while the Lieutenant and I were both out – recon – Bill and his buffoons had the damn thing carted to the nearest flat hilltop, via company chopper, and when we got back, later that morning, there it was. Sitting as pretty as you please –"

"On a plateau." Sherlock says, his lips nuzzle at John's silky hair.

John nods. "Yup."

"Inaccessible." Sherlock's head bends lower and he continues the nuzzling, this time along the back of John's neck.

John sighs. Dramatically. "I thought the Lieutenant would have a stroke. Had to call the damn chopper back to bring it back down. But not before all of us got photos, that is."

He shifts marginally against the strong chest under his cheek.

"And that is why we never, ever, let Bill Murray get his hands on the keys to the company jeep after that."

John finishes with the story and he feels the chest under him tremble.

Sherlock is laughing. Granted, it doesn't happen that often. But when it does, his laughter is infectious and John can't help grinning. Sherlock's entire face lights up, the corners of his eyes crinkle, everything gets into the act.

John smiles to himself, satisfied. Mission accomplished. Some small part of his tired brain tells him that his thoughts aren't On. The medical part of his brain tells him that most of them are caused by the chemicals in his bloodstream. That he needs help. Soon. Now. But he is in so much pain at the moment, he cannot conceive of it ever lessening.

How can one man bear this much agony?

He studiously ignores that part of his mind.

John disposes of his near empty plate by the simple expedient of dropping it on the floor next to their bed.

The two men lie there in companionable silence for a few moments. Sherlock continues to nuzzle and kiss the back of John's head and his shoulders. They are not urgent kisses, more affectionate than anything else. Both men are willing to bide their time.

"Now for it," John thinks.

"Will you do something for me?" John's voice is deliberately casual. His head lies on the marble chest and he can feel the small intake of breath as Sherlock answers him.

"Anything, John."

"Will you – stop? Stop this?"

Sherlock turns his head and his lips brush against John's forehead. He frowns.


John lifts up, pulling out of Sherlock's embrace, and twists his head to look directly into the amazing eyes.

"I mean it, love. I need you to – be Sherlock. To be yourself. And you can't. Not if you're constantly playing nursemaid to John Watson."

Sherlock's mouth opens slightly. His heart rate has sped up and he is aware he must look like a codfish, as he gapes at John Watson.


"Stop this, Sherlock. It's not you. It hasn't been for some time. Surely you must see that?"

John is propped up on one arm now, which puts him at a higher angle than his love. He looks down into the mercuric eyes, which have widened. There is no way the beautiful eyes can get any larger, John thinks. He can drown in those eyes. Why do Sherlock's eyes always remind him of the sea, on a foggy day?

"John. I – "

John shakes his head, lifts a hand and brushes it through the dark curls that twist and tumble over the pale forehead.

"You need a haircut," he says with affection.

Sherlock says nothing. He just looks into John's eyes. John can see the confusion. And the heartache. Confusion and pain he has put there. Always, always pain he has caused. Always.

He shakes his head. He has to get through this. If he doesn't….if he cannot make the other man see reason, then he won't be able to do what he -

"Sherlock – I can't tell you what it's meant to me. What you've done for me. I have no words. I wouldn't have blamed you if you'd run for the hills, to be honest. But you didn't. You hung in there. But you have to stop now. You have to let me find my own way out of this –" John waves a hand at their bedroom, the flat, life.

"Out of this mess I'm in. I promise to try, to do my best. I promise you that."

Sherlock stares into the dark blue eyes, even darker than usual in the watery light from their window. The rain, which lessened somewhat in the past hour, has renewed its onslaught and cascades down the glass. Sherlock finds the sound oddly soothing.

He looks into John Watson's blue eyes. He notes the innocuous smile on his lover's face, the smile that isn't – quite – John. And all his alarm bells ring.

He sees something in the blue depths that gives him pause. A memory resurfaces. Right. Of course. This is the next step. He'd momentarily forgotten. Self-hatred first. Can self-harm be far away? And for that, Sherlock needs to be out of the way. Next, John will refuse to come to crime scenes. There'll always be a reason. He won't try anything, not at first. But eventually and soon …but perhaps he's wrong. Perhaps it's as simple as John leaving their bed, finding one of the guns …

He looks into John's eyes, which watch him with seemingly casual interest, and he does something he hasn't done in ages.

He deduces John. And John sees it.

John squirms slightly, his eyes widen. "What are you doing?" He pulls back and sits up, pulling his knees up. Pulling away from Sherlock.


Sherlock sits up, scooting the pillows behind him for support, then leans his shaggy head back against the carved headboard and stares at John Watson, stares at him from the top of his white-blond head to his dark eyes, smudged with bruising, to the thin dry lips. His gaze rakes down John's form, so much thinner now and shaking slightly with emotion – and pure exhaustion - to the arms he has wrapped around his bare knees. He notes how John's hands grip each other around his legs, grip each other so hard the knuckles have gone white.

Sherlock looks at John and his eyes narrow. "I'm getting slow," he thinks. "I must be tired or getting old."

John looks at Sherlock and knows he should be angry. But instead all he feels is nervousness. He licks his lips, tries again. "I said, what are you doing, Sherlock?"

The velvet drawl matches the slight grin on the detective's face. "I say it again, John Watson. Interesting."

John's eyes narrow. His heart pounds in his chest and now he is angry.

"Sherlock? If you think you can pull this shite on me, after all of this time –"

"All this time, John? You mean the few months that we've actually –" Sherlock waves one languid hand, "accepted this thing between us. All this time, John?" He cocks his shaggy head and considers the smaller man in front of him. They are both in bed, they are both sitting up and John is nearly as tall as Sherlock is. Nearly. Not quite.

He smiles lazily and even as he does it, knows it is guaranteed to get him knocked on his arse. He wonders if that is what John needs. To pound the holy shite out of him – or someone.

Sherlock's mind catalogues the tells, races through the permutations, examines his own memories– and comes up with his behavior all those years ago, his actions and reactions, what he said to Mycroft, what both his brother and Lestrade had to endure during his drug years, the insane years. And Mummy, of course. " Let's not forget what Mummy went through on my behalf. God knows, she will never forget it. Or allow me to do so."

He fits it all together - in seven seconds flat.

His eyes narrow. He idly reaches out with his left hand and encircles John's wrist with his long fingers. John does not pull away but Sherlock feels his Army doctor tense. He glances at John's knuckles. They cannot get any whiter. His doctor's pulse races under Sherlock's fingertips.

He leans back again. "John – I do have to wonder if this isn't the biggest load of bull you have ever fed me. And that's saying something."

He drops his hand from John's wrist and clasps both his hands in front of him, starts tapping his fingers together. Yes. John's eyes have narrowed and Sherlock knows he is, literally, a few seconds away from a punch in the jaw.

He decides to make it easy on his soldier. "Was it cathartic? Do you feel better now?"

He waves a hand. "I have no intention of 'letting you work your way through this problem' by yourself, John. We both know where that will lead. If not to the Thames, one lonely evening, you cannot, after all, swim, then most assuredly to your decision to put the Browning to use. On yourself. But then, this is not new data. You warned me once, less than two weeks ago. Decent of you, I must say."

John's eyes seethe and his body language changes. He begins to rise from the bed.

Sherlock sits still. And observes. "Or perhaps, you'll decide to use the Makaroff. It would, after all, be more fitting. It was my gift to you." His eyes roam over John's body again, now vibrating with barely contained anger. "Yes. The Makaroff would be even more appropriate. Particularly if I am the one to find the body. The final slap in the face, as it were."

Both men look at each other and John's face is mottled with anger. He is on his feet now and moving away from the younger man. Sherlock watches him as he begins to pace their room, short strides that take him away from the bed, then back toward it.

"I – I told you that I appreciate everything you have done. I told you that I need to work through this on my own. I gave you every opportunity to –"

"No, John. You did not." Sherlock yanks the bed clothes back and swings his long bare legs over the side of the bed. He is on his feet and looming over John in two strides. He looks down into the tortured gaze.

"What you told me, John, is that you have become clever at dissembling. Quite clever, in fact." He looks John in the eyes, and ignores the fist that is clenched by John's side, resigned to the fact that said fist will most assuredly impact his jaw in about seven seconds.

"He's dead, John. Unfortunate. He was a good man. A good man in a violent occupation."

John's eyes narrow and Sherlock watches as his Army doctor's chest expands. Pulling in oxygen. Getting ready.

Four seconds. John's stance subtly changes. He leans back, slightly, settles his weight.

Sherlock shakes his curly head and fixes John Watson with a steady gaze. "I know you feel it should be your body lying on that slab. It isn't. You're alive, John. Alive. And Enders died making certain that you would remain so."

Three seconds. Two. The dark eyes narrow. Target acquired.

He delivers the coup d'état. "Are you going to let his death be in vain by persisting in this self-serving desire to -"

John swings.

And encounters Sherlock's open palm. At the same time, the detective has taken one quick step to the side. The impact shudders through the detective's arm and he winces at the strength behind the blow and the instant muscle ache it causes. But he grabs at John's hand and doesn't release it. Not until the soldier yanks it from his grasp and takes a step back.

John's breath comes in heaving gasps and his entire body vibrates with anger.

"You fucking bastard –"

"My dear Doctor –" Sherlock starts.

"Stop calling me that," John rages. His hands grab Sherlock by the upper arms, his sturdy fingers digging into the pale flesh. Neither man wears clothing other than boxers and silk briefs and in any other situation, Sherlock would find this arousing. Instead, his eyes narrow and he goes totally still as his doctor grabs him and literally spins him round to face him.

"I'm not a doctor ! Not anymore. Stop calling me that!" John shakes the other man, mindless of the damage his strong grip does to Sherlock's arms and pale skin. The detective looks down into the dark eyes and his own eyes reflect John's pain back at him.

"John – it's a piece of paper. A bloody piece of paper. That's what they took from you. And that's all they took from you."

He tries to keep his voice steady in order to get through to the smaller man, but John Watson is having none of it. His eyes have gone wild, the pupils nearly blown, his voice seethes with rage, barely controlled.

He holds one hand up in front of Sherlock's face. He begins to fold one finger at a time in to his palm.

"Let's recap, shall we? One," he folds his thumb in and stares into Sherlock's pale eyes. "I have been stripped of my medical license, due to –" He folds down the first finger, "Two, my addiction to a foreign substance which was repeatedly injected into my veins over the course of a week in captivity by that murdering bastard!"

Sherlock's gaze is ice. He looks down into John's eyes and says nothing.

"Three. I was shot, nearly over the same wound I incurred in fucking Afghanistan!"

John's eyes fill and Sherlock wonders if the man is even aware of this fact.

"Four - I fucking died! I died, Sherlock, you said so. On the goddamn M4 and I don't – I can't – I have no memory of this. You say I shot that bastard – Moran. You tell me that Lestrade and I splattered his brains to hell and back –"

John's fingers stop digging into Sherlock's skin and instead he shifts his grasp to hold the long arms with his hands. The pale skin is raw, red. John doesn't even notice.

"How can I not have any stinking memory of this? How?"

It's a cry of agony. And it slices through Sherlock's heart, razor sharp.

John stares into the grey eyes. His voice, wrecked, is utterly desperate.

"Five. I lost my man – he – if I hadn't stopped - to rest - if I had just gone on, just one more fucking minute – sixty seconds … then he'd be – I lost… I lost …"

John breaks down at last and he releases Sherlock's body and doubles in on himself, in pain. He begins to drop, but Sherlock's strong hands grab his shoulders and pull him back to his feet. He gives John a determined shake.

"Stop this! John, look at me. Stop this right now, this minute!"

Sherlock's strong hands hold the doctor upright. He lifts his head and his eyes are red, raw. His gaze pierces the detective's heart.

"John – listen to me. You're a soldier, god damn it. You always have been. And this - this thing that happened – was nobody's fault." John shakes his head and starts to pull away but Sherlock refuses to let him go.

"Look at me, damn it! John!" John looks back up at Sherlock. "Rob Enders made a decision. He made the decision that Captain John Watson was worth saving. A decision I most heartily agree with, by the way. He made a decision in the heat of the moment, in battle, and he acted on that decision. Just the same way you would have, exactly the same way you would have. The way you have done in the past. And will do again. The way you always do."

One of Sherlock's hands grasp the back of the white-gold head in desperation. His long fingers hold the back of John's head in his palm. The two men stare into each other's eyes – the one dark gaze, full of pain, and the one clear, shining, oddly pale.

John looks into Sherlock's eyes – and just shakes his head. "It was me," he says in a hoarse whisper. "I fucked up. It was me."

"No, John. It was a fucking bomb. There was a god damn bomb - they were all over the place. Bloody hell!" Sherlock's voice breaks off and he releases John's arm with his other hand, but does not let go of the back of John's head. His fingers fist into the silken mass of John's hair.

He shakes his head and his curls dance over his forehead. "Bloody hell – John! We should all of us be dead. Every. Single. One. All."

His eyes look into John's, desperate. "John, I should be dead down in that burning lab. Oakton should have died when the slab fell on her. Hansen would have died if you hadn't – hell, John! Half those people, over half of us are alive, breathing, because of Captain John Watson. And that includes Victoria Regina Holmes."

Dead silence. John's breath catches and his hands fist at his side. He hangs his head. Then shakes it. "No." he whispers. "You're wrong, Sherlock." He lifts his head and Sherlock's stomach crawls at the sound of John's voice. His Army doctor – nearly – laughs. Sherlock's eyes widen.

"You're wrong. So wrong. I did what I had to do. That's all. There was nothing—"

"No, John. You don't get to do this. John – look at me. You did what you always do. You saved lives. And whether you do it as Captain John Watson of the RAMC or Doctor John H. Watson, you did what you always do, John. You put everyone else first. And yourself last. Every bloody time."

Sherlock releases John's hair and steps back a half step. He stares into the storm-tossed eyes. "John, it's what you always do. Put others first. And that's what makes you such a good man. Such a dependable man. Steady in combat. Reliable. Strong."

His voice drops as John stares at him. "It's what makes you who you are. And it's what made Rob Enders what he was. A good man. A damn good man. And I owe him. I can't ever repay – John, don't you see?"

He shakes his head and drops his hands to his side. He has no more to give. Not now. If he can't make John see – than all of this has been for naught.

He lifts his hand once more and tugs, ever so slightly, on the back of John's head. If John will allow this, then –

John's face has gone white, paler than Sherlock has ever seen it, save when the man lay in a coma in St. Anne's. There's no reaching him. The small niggling fear once again takes up residence in Sherlock's chest, and he shuts his eyes, momentarily, to shut out the sight of his love's desperate face.

"I can't do this," he thinks. "I'm not equipped. Not good enough. Never good enough. And I cannot live with this constant fear."

He opens his eyes – only three seconds have passed – four, five - and suddenly John leans into Sherlock's palm, lets the taller man pull him to his chest. The doctor's arms hang by his side.

Sherlock cradles John's head in one hand. John rests his cheek against his love's heart.

"I'm so bloody tired," he whispers. "So damn tired." His warm breath huffs out over the cool skin.

Sherlock nods and shuts his eyes again. "I know, John. I know." He doesn't mention his own sheer exhaustion.

He can feel faint tremors race under John's skin. And he frowns. Surely, it's not time for another injection? How can this be? So soon? It's only been – what? Two hours, at the most?

Not possible.


And as John leans against Sherlock, the detective's mind grapples with the puzzle of John's frequent attacks, running backward to the last one, the one before that, and the one before that. He examines each one he was witness to and matches them up with the circumstances at the time.

And then it hits him.

Stupid. Stupid. They've all – every single last one of them - Merit, Oakton, Dennison, himself, every one of them been so incredibly dense. Why haven't they seen? How could this have been happening for weeks and not one of them have noticed? He exempts John. The man can barely function, let alone realize that -

Dare he say anything?

"John –" Sherlock's voice comes as a deep whisper, urgent. "John?"

His soldier pulls back slightly and looks at him. Sherlock yanks his gaze from over John's head and stares down into the dark eyes, shining with unshed tears, so familiar, and so lost.

"John – I think we have a problem."

He begins to speak, hesitantly at first, then with more assurance. The doctor hears him out. John's eyes widen. He can see his Army doctor thinking over the theory he has just expounded.

He waits. It's all he can do at this point.

Then at the last, John nods, too tired to dissemble any longer.

All right then. Good. Tomorrow.

Sherlock pulls his love's head to him once more and the two men stand wrapped around each other, while the faint tremors race through the small body under his hands.

"Yes, we have a plan. If we can survive the remainder of this day. And the coming night. Without killing each other first."

Not for the first time, Sherlock mentally groans at the fact he will have to, once again, ask his brother for help.

He remembers Mycroft's credo – told to him once when his brother was visiting, home from Uni: Delegate Authority to Others. Remain in control.

How could he have forgotten so soon?

He bends his head toward John's pale hair.

# # #

Written under the influence of: The Alan Parsons Project – Time (John and Sherlock together; Sherlock while he watches John sleep); Paul Young – Come Back and Stay (writing John's addiction from Sherlock's POV) - and Everytime You Go Away (John's moods – and what his "absences" do to Sherlock); The Alan Parsons Project – Eye in the Sky (Sherlock as he deduces John's suicide plans and Sherlock – any time he deduces John – Sherlock's intense possessiveness of John) and The Alan Parsons Project – Voyager (John's Vision of Book Two: PRINCIPALITIES – as he searches desperately for Sherlock)

Thanks to: Jodi2011 for immeasurable assistance with the Holmes mansion and staff questions, which we will see beginning Ch. 2, official start of the Fluff (don't go blind from the sugar); AfroGeekGoddess, for invaluable writing tips, shamefully asked for and freely given!; and Sherlock's Scarf – for impromptu Beta of Ch. 1 – done at a moment's request!

Thanks eveh so much, Luvs!

If you have not read AfroGeekGoddess's AFTER LIFE / AFTER DEATH / AFTER LOVE series, your life is seriously lacking. I have no words to describe the beauty of this work.

Sherlock's Scarf ongoing series: "NO HEART FOR ME LIKE YOURS" is gorgeous JohnLock and beautifully written. Please don't miss it.

Thanks go to the following for reviewing Ch. 24 of THE BOYS OF BAKER STREET:

Hou5eMou5e; constantlycold; TrustMeImSherlock; tianlu ; librarianmum; Little Missile; Mj'sMom; Rairakku1234; Synthetic Memories; Falling-Petal84; Kaiyo No Hime; Telula13; CatGirl04; Quiet Time; AfroGeekGoddess; Slone'sTravelDreamer; danishprince; raebytheriver; Jodi2011; eohippus; min 23; power0girl; Strangely Innocent; Jackie Ryans; Norwaycat; cantsaymylastname; Carolita 71; ongreenergrasses; emmish; happypplonearth; Kattennella; raven612; Entropic Cascade; Grizlie; mystrac; HOS70; atn3