AN: I'm not as pleased with this as I thought I would be but I felt like writing a bit of angst.
I Love You
As he watched the man who had come to mean everything to him step of the edge of the building, John could have sworn his heart stopped for longer than was biologically possible. No air escaped him as, in what felt like slow motion; Sherlock fell to his death, moments away from impact against the hard, cruel stone. It was as he was paralysed, a statue, that could not run to help, like his mind subconsciously understood he would not get there in time. There was nothing he could do to stop it.
It was only when the two collided that he felt able to move and denial made itself known. Sherlock couldn't be dead. That was not him lying still and silently on the ground…it was an imposter, a fake a…
An idiotic person on a bike then chose that moment to ram into him and he skidded on the road but he had to get up. He had to see for himself. He had to ignore the spots sliding around in front of his vision. Anything to check that the man on the pavement was NOT Sherlock Holmes.
Except it was. Even though the body was covered with blood there was no mistaking the curled brown hair, the high cheekbones and tall lithe frame. Sherlock Holmes was dead and now, so was a part of John Watson.
Kneeling beside the body, John's hand shook as he took the unresponsive one of Sherlock's. Now, the one thing he knew he should have said to the man mere seconds ago he was forced to say only to the body.
In a hushed, trembling tone John said "I love you"
With that, John fell unconscious, and upon waking, would wish he had never woken up.
If John didn't know any better, he would say that some of these people had been paid to be there. After all, Sherlock had been deemed a fraud and a liar, why would so many people wish to pay their respects to him? But then, as he heard the whispered messages each person gave to the grave-stone he understood. The people who Sherlock had helped knew he could not be a fraud. Like John, they had seen first hand the brilliance of the consulting detective and knew such a mind could not be a fake. Unlike those reporters that Mycroft had thankfully been able to keep away.
Finally, it was only John left. The grateful victims had given their respects, Mrs Hudson had become too tearful and Mycroft had to take his mother home. John wished he could have met Mrs Holmes under better circumstances as she did appear like a lovely woman – even thanked him – but it seemed that fate or whatever higher thing out there that controlled the universe had other plans.
John's hand clenched tightly as he said his final words to the gravestone.
"Please, just one more, one more miracle Sherlock, for me. Don't. Be. Dead. Just stop it. Stop this" John closed his eyes and let out a deep breath, ignoring the feeling of tears that wanted to fall. After another shuddering breath, John opened his eyes and stared at the grave. "Please Sherlock, I love you".
John allowed one tear to drip onto the soft earth before turning away. John hoped that somewhere, Sherlock had heard him, even if it was too late.
The third time was when John was looking through Sherlock's things to make sure there was no findable experiment that if left unattended would blow up or something equally as bad. He was sure if Sherlock was alive he would detest the thought of John going through his things but then, Sherlock wasn't alive, so there wasn't really a problem.
In one of the bottom draws of the dresser John found something unexpected. Instead of clothes, like there had been in all of the others (except for one which contained a Bunsen burner) there was a clear plastic bag full of packets of cigarettes and what John presumed were drugs judging by the needle shape. None were open and the amount of dust on it made it look like they had been there for a long time. Normally, John would wonder why haven't given in to the temptation of them. However, written on a post-it note were two words.
It did not take the worlds only consulting detective for John to realise that the note was there for whenever Sherlock felt like giving in. He knew how much John would hate it if he did give in and so had used John himself as motivation. Sherlock had given up his addictions…for John.
John sucked in his lips to attempt to keep in a small sob. If he hadn't had enough reason to before, John once again found himself needing to mumble "I love you".
It was ironic really, how when John's life seemed to fall apart at the seams Harry finally managed to get hers back together again. While John coped with the extreme grief that came with watching a loved one plummet to their death Harry slowly started to lose the alcohol and convince her ex-partner Clara that they would once again be able to share their life together without the destruction she had caused the time before.
John knew he was obligated to be there as one of the bride's brother and so went there alone, even though it was slightly pathetic. Even after eight months he still didn't feel like moving on, as if it would be a betrayal to Sherlock's memory to find someone else to fill the gap he left. That and he still hoping that one day Sherlock would just turn up again as if nothing had happened. As if he hadn't died.
That didn't mean he wasn't happy for Harry though. Hopefully this time she would be able to resist the temptation of the drink and would manage a stable and fulfilling relationship – one he would now never have. Ok, so maybe he was slightly bitter.
It was difficult though, watching as Harry waltzed around the dance floor with a laughing Clara. Had he ever had the courage to admit his feelings to Sherlock and have them reciprocated, would that be them? Proving their love to the world through marriage? While he could imagine Sherlock gracefully dancing around the floor he had trouble imagining himself keeping up. Dancing was never his strong point. Then again Sherlock would have probably taught him…taunted him a few times with good humour, but still have taught John so they could have a moment just like his sister and her wife were having.
Perhaps if he'd just said 'I love you' to Sherlock earlier then that would be them instead.
While everyone toasted the brides, John said something else instead. "I love you Sherlock Holmes" he toasted quietly and then drank all of his champagne in one.
It was completely by chance how he came about it. He had been doing a search of Sherlock's room as there was a foul smell starting to emit from it when John found it in a secret compartment under the bed. The box of a moulding something (it was unrecognisable) had been on top of the latch to the compartment and John was glad he'd brought a torch otherwise he'd have missed it.
There was only one thing in the secret area, and that thing was a journal. Sherlock's journal. John had spent a good while debating whether to open it or not but in the end decided that there was nothing Sherlock could really do to stop him and it would serve the git right for leaving him.
As expected, the words were just as jumbled as John assumed it would be in Sherlock's mind. The grammar was terrible, sometimes there were words missed out of sentences and the lines seemed to overlap. BORED seemed to be a recurring theme in the first few days and carrying on into the following years. There were no dates but John guessed that it had started when he left home as he seemed to complain about University classes in quite a few of the earlier entries.
John wondered when Sherlock felt the need to write things down in the journal and even the purpose of it. In the end he concluded that sometimes Sherlock's brain could not cope from the overload of information and thoughts running through it and so instead of deleting anything Sherlock would write it in there. After all, not many of them made sense and it didn't seem like the type of thing you would want to look back on to remember memories. Sherlock never had seemed like the reminiscing type anyway.
Eventually, the writing began to change and John noticed it was when he and Sherlock had first met.
Got a flat-mate. Not as dull as the others. Shot a cabbie upon first night of meeting. Could be interesting.
John chuckled slightly. He took the line about dullness as a compliment and read on. Sherlock rarely expressed his feelings but perhaps John would get more of an insight of how the detective felt about him in here. With amusement (and slight sadness) John read Sherlock's takes on the adventures they'd had.
Person mistook John for me. John seemed to find amusing after initial shock. I don't understand it.
A new game afoot. Finally, something stimulating.
Moriaty kidnapped John. Unacceptable.
Saving someone from terrorists is more entertaining than expected. John was confused at that one. He couldn't remember Sherlock saving anyone from terrorists. Then again there was that time he left for another country shortly after that Adler woman died. Disregarding his confusion, John carried on.
Felt afraid. Have no desire to feel such an emotion again.
Told John he was my only friend. I have a friend. The amazement that was conveyed through those words made John chuckle. Honestly, if that was really the first time Sherlock really understood that then he was a bit of an idiot, John thought fondly. He was getting near the end of the journal now and tried to ignore how miserable the prospect made him. It was almost like the journal was giving him back a bit of Sherlock and by finishing it he was losing him all over again. John resolved at that moment to make sure the journal stayed safe and with him.
Confused. Experiencing new feelings and do not know what they mean. Need more data.
Conclusion – they are because of John. Still do not know meaning of them.
Hypothosis – I have strong feelings for John Watson bordering on romantic.
New Conclusion – I am in love with John Watson.
After dropping the journal on the floor, John remained in shock for what felt like hours. Sherlock had been in love with him just before he died. Then why did he jump? Did he think John would not return those feelings? Or perhaps he had changed his mind. Whatever it was John knew he could only do one thing. Gently, picked up the journal and traced the words on the final page.
"I love you too, you stupid genius"
Yes, John would make sure nothing happened to that journal.
John had imagined Sherlock's return in many ways, dreamed them in fact. None of them however, were he really prepared for. So when John saw Sherlock casually sitting on the sofa in 221B, just over a year he 'died' he was torn between fainting, kissing the idiot and punching him. Fortunately for his pride he did not faint but he did both of the other two…except he may have got a bit carried away and given the man two punches (fairly hard) before grabbing his face and kissing him.
Looking at the man he had thought was gone forever who was gazing back at him with the longing reflected on his own face John knew he could only say one thing.
"I love you"
John couldn't have felt happier when Sherlock's arms encased him and the taller man whispered. "I love you too John"
AN: Thanks to this I had to re-watch the gravestone scene and cry. How one word can make me want to cry so much I will never know. And yes, I made it only one year instead of three. I couldn't keep them apart for that long!