"John?"

John glanced up from the paper to see Sherlock stumble in, wearing just his underwear and bathrobe. He slid the paper up to hide the growing smirk on his face. Ever since they started dating a few months back, Sherlock had become much more lazy in what he decided to wear. "You look lovely this morning."

"Oh shut up," he replied, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "I wanted to ask you about something." He held out his open hand. "Do you know what this is? I keep finding it in your trouser pockets when I do the laundry."

It was a pocketwatch. A silver pocketwatch with strange markings on one side. John frowned and put down the paper, slightly confused. "Oh, that old thing? I guess I keep forgetting about it... hell, I can't even remember where I got it from." He smiled and laughed a little. "Must've gotten it when I was a kid or something."

Sherlock nodded and set it down next to John's seat. "So it turns out that the murderer wasn't wearing open-toed shoes, which means that..." and he sat down next to John, rambling about a case they were working on.

But neither could really forget the watch.

Days turned to weeks, which then turned to months. Sherlock and John were still together, and neither could've been happier. They had started to sleep in the same room, and for her birthday John bought Mrs. Hudson a pair of soundproof headphones.

John found himself thinking more and more about the strange pocketwatch.

He had started turning it over in his hands absently as he watched Sherlock inspect crime scenes. Running his finger over it in his pocket while he was at the doctor's office. Placing it on the bedside table before he joined Sherlock for the night. Keeping it close wherever he went.

The one thing he didn't do? Open it.

Sherlock of course noticed the increased interest in the watch. He'd taken to inspecting it as well. Before John woke up in the morning, Sherlock would reach over him and pluck it from the bedside table. He would hold it up to the light, running a finger over the strange and intricate circular design on one side. And sometimes, though he would never admit it to anyone who asked him, if he closed his eyes while holding the watch, he would see... visions. Dreams, almost. The sights were so strange that those could really be the only two words to describe them.

A blue Police Box. Men made of metal. A city inside a glass bubble. A library that took up an entire planet. And always a man, one man, the same man, but in many many different bodies.

And sometimes, after the visions, after he opened his eyes, he'd hear a voice. The world would still be asleep; the only place it could possibly come from would be the watch. You can keep him for now. He doesn't have to open it yet. But he will eventually.

Enjoy it while you can.

No matter what the words were, they always carried a sense of finality to them. As though the end was approaching. And it scared Sherlock. It scared him so much. Things were going so perfectly with John; he had no intention of giving him up, he couldn't. And so Sherlock would pull in closer, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend (which, for him, was still a very strange and childish word to use), and hold him tight until John would wake up.

John would wake up to Sherlock's arms wrapped tight around his torso, hands clinging to the fabric covering his chest. It was touching, but strange; Sherlock wasn't exactly the sentimental type. It was for that reason that John decided to take things slow, slower than when he was dating anyone else. But he would say nothing, and for the rest of the day, Sherlock would be back to normal.

His time is coming.

The time is coming soon.

Enjoy it while you can.

The time is now.

One day John awoke to Sherlock clinging to him in the same position as before. Except this time there was a wet splotch on his shoulder. Frowning, he turned to face his detective, and found tears running into the pillows. Without hesitation, John pulled Sherlock into a hug. "Sherlock, sweetheart, what's wrong?" he asked softly. Sherlock just shook his head in reply. John placed a kiss on his nose and gave him another squeeze before sitting up. "I'm sorry Sherlock, I really am; I don't want to leave you like this, but I have to head to work. Can you tell me what's going on at least while I'm getting ready?" Sherlock shook his head again and buried his face in his pillow. "Okay then, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, John said with a sigh. He gave Sherlock's shoulder a sympathetic squeeze, and started getting dressed.

"Mrr ovfr ooh."

John glanced over at Sherlock, halfway done with buttoning up his shirt. "Sorry, did you say something?"

"Mrr ovfr ooh!"

"Sherlock you can't speak into the pillow and expect me to understa-"

"I said 'I love you,' okay?" Sherlock snapped. "It's obvious. Now leave me alone."

John stared at Sherlock for a moment, his mouth hanging slightly open. Sherlock wasn't exactly the sentimental type. Describing how he felt was very hard for him, especially when he felt like the emotion was being shown. So when he did dictate his feelings, he truly meant it; these were never simply offhand remarks. An immense feeling of love and affection radiated within John, so much so that he couldn't keep the smile off his face. Quietly he finished putting on his clothes before kneeling beside Sherlock. "I love you too," he said softly, and kissed the top of his head. "If you want to talk about anything, just give me a call, okay?" Sherlock nodded, and John pocketed his watch before heading into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee.

That was the last time Sherlock Holmes talked to John Watson.