This Time No (Forgiveness)

John will not forgive Sherlock. Not this time, no.

Ask just about anyone and they'll tell you John's usually all aboutforgiveness. Sometimes he's a damn saint. He's amazing. He deserves a medal. Hell yes.

Because living with Sherlock often sucks. And yeah, not in the good way. They've been together twelve years, married ten and, if asked about John's sainthood just about everyone can give you details should details you require.

Like so:

* Sherlock can be so distracted by a case the flat becomes a disaster zone of foul fluids, human remains, live bugs, sharp objects, and elaborate tableaux of same spread over every surface so that the super genius can 'just think for a minute.' That none of this crap ever gets thrown away, cleaned up, or released back into nature—not by Sherlock, anyway—goes without saying.

* Sherlock can fashion experiments so utterly ridiculous, so unbecomingly large, and so inclined to burn that there have been dozens of nights where they've had to flee the flat and spend the evening with friends until the fumes dissipated and the cleaners came.

* Sherlock can appear to be doing absolutely nothing but staring at the ceiling but be so deeply preoccupied with a random thought firing bright through that thick, pretty head that he doesn't hear John speaking to him from two feet away and even when he does he's as likely to complain at the interruption as he is to utter a kindness.

* Sherlock can head toward the kitchen to make John a cup of tea and instead that same thick head will spark with an idea that steers him out the door for the next three hours with little more than a quick goodbye.

* Instead of keeping his mouth shut tight about a grievance Sherlock will air it, as if his annoyance over queuing, being denied an audience, or having to repeat himself were grave injustices suffered by him alone.

* Sherlock is loud when he should be silent. Silent when he should be loud. He is willful, opinionated, devious, profane, selfish, vain, insecure, and entirely too tall.

Sherlock's all of those things and more and so yes, give the doctor a prize, a pat on the back, give him that fucking medal.

But guess what?

John doesn't want your accolades. And you can keep your damn medal, he's got three real ones tucked away in a drawer, thanks-so-much-anyway.

Because, until today, John would have replied to everything we've said about Sherlock with a "Sure, true and correct, so the fuck what?"

Yes, Sherlock can be self-centered prat, but so can we all. Every last one of us has whined about nothing much, become distracted by work, or taken ourselves far too seriously.

Yet most of us don't have genius as counter-point. Most of us can't literally point to a man, a woman, a painting, gem, house, whatever, and say with truth, "I saved them. My brilliance made sure they go on, that they live, or still stand, or hang on that wall. Because I saw and understood something no one else saw or could understand this world is a noticeably better, brighter place."

Yeah, most of us have the same negatives but that bright and blazing positive, that gift? We wish.

So when you tell John he's a saint for putting up with Sherlock he will do what he always does, he will say something. Because such remarks against the man with whom he's joined his life don't get to go unremarked. You're an idiot if you think he'll let you insult someone so clearly your superior without taking you to task for it.

Politely, of course. John is nothing if not an almost flawless diplomat. One inclined to swearing—a tendency that's only getting worse as he reaches for and surpasses his first half century—one with scars, frequent frowns, as frequent smiles, and a hatred of chip-and-pin machines (still), but a consummate diplomat none-the-less.

So, with all of that, have we made our point that Sherlock's a handful at times but John has always understood that that's the price of genius, that with the bad comes the achingly good?

Did we even get to that part yet? The part John doesn't share unless directly asked, but if asked he will tell you that Sherlock knows twenty eight languages in which to say I love you, and that he learned every one of them one long winter so that he could say those words to John—who was dealing with a bout of depression—'every time it rains or snows this year, my love'?

Did we talk about the way Sherlock holds John at night, even now, even after twelve long years, a long arm wrapped round John's waist, or fingers twined through his, or a hand pressed to his hip and his forehead tucked against John's chest as they drift to sleep?

Did we mention the odd, strange, perfect gifts he sometimes gives for no good reason? A stolen street sign that said Watsons Mews, a tiny skull pin, a 100-year-old stethoscope, a signed Doctor Who script, every single one having just appeared next to John's laptop one day (heck, once or twice there's been an entirely new laptop there, too).

Did we talk about that stuff yet? Or the tears Sherlock's cried when they thought John had cancer, when John's been hurt, when John's been nothing more than sad or indifferent or simply weary?

Yes, we did talk about all of that, just a little, so now you've got the balance of the man, enough maybe, to understand that you don't understand anything at all about who John and Sherlock are together, and so your opinion doesn't matter, but okay, fine, you'll have one, we all do, but the only heart that matters right now, today, is John's and John's heart, it's about to turn hard, bitter, and he will grow so angry he is silent, dead silent—a dangerous thing gone stealth.

And though Sherlock will ask forgiveness for what he's done John will say, "This time no, Sherlock. This time, never."

And John will walk out the door.

John Watson will leave.

...

I'm a drama queen. Most skulls are. But I won't drag this out or make you wonder, because no one needs to wade through thousands of words with a knot in their stomach, so I'll tell you three times: John comes back. John comes back. John comes back.

But by the time John comes back things have changed. Sherlock has changed. A whole lot of people later said it was for the better.

John? Even all these years later he's not so sure that's true.

Who am I? You know me. We've met a few times. I'm dead. My name's Aurora, Rory for short or Darlin' if you're John, and because John's rubbed off on Sherlock, he's even given me a diminutive, so I'm My Dear, too.

Anyway, that's not even the point—which helps me make a point actually—I have a bad habit of wandering off topic so if I do please be patient, I always wander back.

So yes, I'm a skull on a mantle, have been with Sherlock since he found me at my own crime scene nearly twenty years back, and I talk to the boys and they listen and then they talk and I generally talk over them. I was a therapist when I was alive, so usually I'm interrupting to good effect except the times when I'm so wrong it's embarrassing. Also, I'm American but usually no one holds that against me.

Fine, up to speed now? Remember? Those times we talked? Good.

Because I need to talk to you again, of course I do, because when things go crazy at 221B my boys don't tiptoe into it, they don't nibble at it, they run face first into a buffet of crazy and gorge until they're sick and god they're bilious with the stuff right now.

It's Sherlock's fault, it usually is except that time when it was John's fault because that thing that happened with him and that bloke at New Year but that's another story entirely and it was okay in the long run but for awhile you could have chilled a martini with the icy tones in this flat and I'll have you know that ice was coming from John of all people and anyway, they got past it and now we're here.

And here is precisely here and it is precisely this: Sherlock probably went and had a living breathing baby with an almost-stranger. And he's about to tell John about it.

Nothing good is going to come of this.

Not for awhile.

I'm sorry.

John comes back. In my universe the boys celebrate many, many more anniversaries together. But In this story both of them make huge, real-people mistakes, and it's wall-to-wall angst, including self-harm in later chapters. If that's not the John or Sherlock you want, I'm publishing silly stuff between chapters of this. If you stay and read, please let me know what you think.

P.S. I used to publish to FFnet, then they deleted some of my stuff without telling me, but damn it I missed it here. So I'm going to publish to FFnet again and this time I'll avoid using swear words in the titles. *Fingers crossed*