A/N It took me a long time, but I finally managed to finish the 100 Theme Challenge! And here is where I'll post it, one drabble a day, until I have its total of 52,000 words up. Every one will be Johnlock-centric, and mostly from their perspectives. Some I'm happy with, some not so much, but I'd love to get feedback from any readers (in the form of reviews, naturally). The first drabble, 'Introduction,' takes place at the beginning of 'A Study in Pink,' if that isn't clear, and it uses an absurd amount of nonsensical descriptive language, so be forewarned. And, one more thing: I don't own this cover image, and it will be taken down immediately if requested. Enjoy!

Rated T for violence and some mild sexual references in later drabbles

Disclaimer I don't own Sherlock or any associated characters, events, etc.

I. Introduction

John is curious as Mike pushes the door open, because what's inside of it will probably be living with him from now on. It could be anyone. A man, of that he is certain, and a man convinced that he must be difficult to share a flat with. Not an altogether reassuring thought, but then again, John hasn't had many of that type lately. Not since his return from the war…

Touching on the topic of it—the war—opens a whole new realm of emotion that he doesn't want to delve into right now. Half-remembered ghosts, traces of dirt run through by cutting lines of sweat and blood, the eerie beauty of the crimson and scarlet liquid as it trickles through the sand, unable to soak into the dusty-clear fragments of mineral as it flees the splitting gunshots—like anything would, for every crack could be the sound of a thousand gallons of adrenaline being released, breaking through the painfully sharp silence that should be sewn into an artwork by a crescendo of climatic soundtrack, but it isn't, because this is no action film, this is real life—

The gunshots still ring in John's head as he first sets eyes upon Sherlock Holmes, and perhaps that's what starts it. Because, in that moment, he can see that they're composed of the same particles. Though Sherlock—for now, the nameless man—is absolutely cold, from his pale skin, illuminated by the merciless hospital lights, to his slightly slanted eyes, washed out in a frosted pine-needle color that can't seem to decide if it's green or grey, to the dark ebony curls of hair that cluster almost boyishly around his tilted, slightly interested face, John knows that the war is in him, too. He doesn't use clever bursts of deduction or guesswork-aided logic to realize it. He just knows. There's a fire burning in this man that sings of grit and thirst, of unbelieving endurance that rips the throat and skin and heart, of watching bodies jerk sideways, like zombies out of a bad horror movie, before the contortion seeps out of them and they thud to the ground. But there's something else, too, the other side of the dreamy nightmare first discovered in Afghanistan. The comrade's grin as he chuckles, They'll be calling you a real hero back home for this one, Watson. The healing relief of even sun-warmed water after a bone-dry, merciless day. The thumping of a live heartbeat that promises a chance of survival—and it doesn't matter how wide that chance is, because it's a yes, a green light, a switch flipped on. And, most of all, the chilled blazing of stars spread over the dusk-violet dunes that's useless to count, because only together is the full tapestry formed.

John loves the war. Even as it tortures him and slashes away at his confidence in the world, in life, he loves it. Not like he'd love his parents or Harry or his friends. Something different. Rather than falling back on it, he's running forward to it. It's rough, wild, beautiful, intriguing, so full or reality and passion and life.

And for that half-instant before the door closes behind him, the dark-haired man is the war. The thing he longs for enough to kill. Yet half-instants pass, and he immediately realizes that he's staring only at a person. Not a battlefield, but a single human being. Still, somehow, part of the emotion remains. How John feels about the war… subconscious though the realization may be, he feels something.

He feels that the same love, someday, could be harbored for Sherlock Holmes.