Well this is the end my friends. I want to thank everyone who stuck with me through this whole long, mad story. I hope I've brought it to a satisfying conclusion but I know I can't please everybody. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my work. I know a lot of people have been waiting a long time for this series to be concluded, myself included. It's been quite the experience and I love you all for taking it with me. Thank you so much!
John stood up to meet his fate. There were times when he really resented being shorter than Sherlock Holmes and this was one of them. "So, did you fuck her then?" John asked, lifting his chin up.
"I beg your pardon?" Sherlock responded, raising an eyebrow.
"Irene Adler," John filled him in. "That is where you were, yes? And yet when you left you told me you were visiting your parents. Funny, isn't that?"
"This is hardly the first time I've lied to you, John," Sherlock said calmly as he removed his coat and sat down in his leather chair. "And it won't be the last."
"You didn't answer my question," John said through gritted teeth. "Did you fuck her?"
"Is that any of your business?" Sherlock asked, his eyes snapping to look over at John piercingly. "Especially considering what you've done this afternoon, multiple times no less, on my bed."
John had enough shame in him to be embarrassed but he wasn't going to give in. "I really think it is," John snapped. "Considering all the bollocks you said about how you didn't care for her. I told you to go for it and you said no. You said you wanted me."
"Why should I choose you, John, when you clearly haven't chosen me?" Sherlock asked accusingly.
"What are you talking about? I haven't chosen anyone! I haven't been able to make a bloody decision for myself since this whole thing started! You turn me down flat without giving me so much of a hint as to how you might really feel about me. Jim decides to fake his own death without giving me so much as a clue that he might still be alive. Now you two are fighting over me like I'm the last lolly in a candy shop. When in all of this fucking mess have I gotten to make one fucking decision?" John shouted, kicking the wooden chair at his desk.
"No," Sherlock said quietly.
"No what?" John asked, breathing heavily.
"I didn't sleep with her," Sherlock answered him.
John collapsed into his chair feeling like he might burst, into tears or laughter, he wasn't quite sure. Instead he just sat there and shook, his mind and body not knowing how to respond.
"John, are you alright?" Sherlock asked, sliding forward and kneeling in front of him. "Did you hear me?"
"Yes, yes, I heard you," John said, his voice cracking.
"I thought you'd be pleased," Sherlock said, looking at John in confusion.
"I don't know what I am," John confessed, reaching down and taking Sherlock's hand in his.
"I don't want to lose you," Sherlock said softly. "She offered but I knew if I did then that would be it. Moriarty would have won you for good."
"Why did you lie to me, Sherlock? Why didn't you tell me that was where you were going?"
"You would have tried to stop me," Sherlock said simply.
"No I wouldn't have," John said, shaking his head. "I would have gone with you and made sure you didn't do anything stupid."
Sherlock grinned at that. "Even to rescue Irene Adler?"
"Sherlock Holmes, I would follow you anywhere," John said, giving Sherlock's hand a squeeze. "Don't you know that by now?"
"No." Sherlock said, lowering his gaze.
John chuckled. "That's because you're an idiot," he said fondly.
Sherlock spent the night up in John's room. Sherlock had burned his bed sheets and so until new ones were bought, they were sharing John's bed. Not that John minded, there were worse things than waking up next to Sherlock Holmes every morning.
He hadn't seen or heard from Jim in a week. John had sent him a text a few nights ago.
Tell me if you're still alive – JW
A few hours later he got a response.
Still alive – JM
Although John was worried about Jim, he didn't press the matter. Jim would pop back in when he felt like it, he always did. Still, a part of John wondered why Jim was staying away. Jim hadn't gone one day without talking to John since he'd been back from the dead.
John woke up next to Sherlock and stretched before pressing a kiss between pale shoulder blades. Sherlock made a wonderful, low humming sound in reply.
"I'm going to make some breakfast, can I get you anything?" John asked, nuzzling Sherlock's nape.
"Just tea for me, thanks," Sherlock murmured.
"Get out of bed you lazy arse, it's nearly noon," John said with a grin.
"Five more minutes," Sherlock grumbled, pulling the covers up to his chin.
John chuckled and got out of bed. He padded downstairs in just his pants and a t-shirt, whistling as he went. He stopped dead in his tracks when he got to the livingroom and saw Jim standing there, looking back at him through the mirror over the fireplace.
"Jim, how the hell did you get in here?" John asked, walking into the kitchen.
"Is that all the greeting I get after a week apart?" Jim asked with a grin.
"I'm afraid Sherlock's bed isn't an option and Sherlock is asleep in my bed, so yeah, I suppose this is all the greeting you get," John responded.
"There's always the sofa," Jim said as he turned around the look at John.
"What are you doing here Jim?"
"Do I need a reason to come and see you now?"
"After a week of silence, yes, I think you do," John answered, not wanting to say how much he had hated Jim going away like that without even letting John know. Was everyone just fucking off on their own adventures without saying anything?
"Did you miss me, Johnny?" Jim asked, stepping closer.
John pressed his lips together. "I can't keep doing this, Jim," John told him.
"Can't keep doing what?" Jim inquired. "Us?"
"Yes, you're too…unpredictable. I can't keep having you pop in and out of my life, causing havoc wherever you go. I'm sorry but I can't keep this up. The two of you fighting over me is wearing me out. I'm going grey, see?" John tilted his head down.
"I noticed, I thought it made you look distinguished," Jim said, touching one of the patches of gray in John's hair.
"Jim, I'm serious. If you two keep this up, I swear to god I will go back to dating women. No woman ever gave me as much hell as the two of you have. I just need to make a decision for once. You two are never going to find a way to share me and I can't keep being fought over. It's exhausting. Besides, let's face it, beyond the fantastic sex, you and I have nothing in common but each other. I'm sorry Jim, but Wendy has to leave Neverland and grow up."
"I understand," Jim said calmly.
"Y-you do?" John asked in shock. He had suspected some kind of fight or argument, not just acceptance. In truth he was a bit disappointed.
Jim leaned in and kissed John softly. "It's been fun, Johnny."
"It has," John agreed.
"Bye," John said, giving Jim a wave as he left. He walked solemnly into the kitchen and began to make himself breakfast. He thought that ending things with Jim would make him feel lighter somehow. Instead it just made him feel empty.
Jim waited for John to leave Baker street and then made his way up the seventeen steps to flat B. He opened up the door without knocking and sat down in Sherlock's chair, just to annoy him. Sherlock, who had been playing the violin, stopped and turned around.
"John isn't here at the moment," he informed Jim.
"I'm aware," Jim responded, examining his nails in a bored manner. "He's out getting the shopping. I probably know John's schedule better than he does. Better than you do."
"Why are you here? John ended things with you."
"John doesn't know what he wants," Jim responded calmly. "He thinks he has to choose and he went with you because you're considered the safer choice. But we both know you won't be able to hold John for any considerable length of time."
"I've been doing just fine," Sherlock responded indignantly.
"For now but we both know you won't last," Jim said with a knowing grin.
"Neither would you," Sherlock snapped back.
"Yes, I'm aware of that darling, that's why I'm here," Jim said, rolling his eyes. "Now come and sit down so we can work something out."
Sherlock hesitantly put his violin away but kept the bow in his hand as if it were some kind of protection. Jim smiled in amusement as Sherlock sat down across from. "Very well then, what do you want to discuss?" Sherlock asked guardedly.
"What about him?"
"John said that we need to learn to share," Jim said, crossing his legs and putting both his hands on the armrests. "Considering that I can give him the physical relationship he requires and you can give him everything else, it seems like a fairly logical solution."
"I can give John a physical relationship," Sherlock said defensively.
"Oh come now," Jim chided. "We both know that's not true and even if it were, you can't compete with me."
"Why should I agree to any of this?"
"If you don't, I can make life very difficult for you," Jim responded with a wicked grin. "For example informing John that you knew I was still alive and never told him. I don't think he'd take very kindly to that. Or how about your friend Victor Trevor? I'm sure John would love to know all about that."
"If you mention those things to John, I'll inform him of the string of murders all through out eastern Europe that all just happened to be blond haired, blue eyed men that are 5'6. You got sloppy Jim."
Jim giggled. "Oh, how I've missed this little game of ours. Fine, it appears we're at a stalemate with that." Jim leaned forward. "I'll give you the real reason why you want to listen to me."
"Go on then,"
"John threatened to start dating women again and we both know what that means. Eventually he'll find one and settle down. It means he'll leave Baker street. It means that he'll find someone who can give him everything he needs and if that happens then we're both out of the picture. Either both of us get John or neither of us do."
Sherlock pressed his hands together under his chin as he considered it. Jim sat back and let him take his time with it.
"We would have to come to some kind of an agreement that John could live with," Sherlock spoke up finally.
"Yes, of course," Jim nodded in agreement.
"You're not moving in here," Sherlock said sternly.
"I wouldn't dream of it darling," Jim said, making a face. "This place is a mess and there's no room for my suits. I wouldn't live here if you paid me."
"I get John for any and all cases, no negotiations on that," Sherlock insisted.
"Fine," Jim shrugged. "If you get John injured on a case, I'll hurt you."
Sherlock did a sharp intake of breath. "Fine, I'll be more careful with him."
"I get John any night he's not working a case," Jim countered.
"We can't forget he has work as well," Sherlock reminded him.
"He can commute just as easily from my place as he does from here," Jim reasoned, waving it off.
"You can't have John every night," Sherlock argued.
"Fine, I get him weekends."
"As long as there's no case."
"And no more having sex in my bed," Sherlock insisted.
"Well someone ought to," Jim teased with a giggle.
Sherlock gave him a look.
"Fine, no sex in your bed."
"We're in agreement then," Sherlock said, holding out his hand.
"I believe we are," Jim grinned and shook it.
John arrived home with the shopping just in time to see Sherlock and Jim shaking hands. "Jim?" he called out. "What are you doing here?" he wouldn't admit out loud how pleased he was to see Jim again.
Jim stood up. "We've got good news Johnny, Sherlock and I have decided to share."
"Yeah right," John snorted in disbelief. "Has hell frozen over as well then?"
"No, he's being quite serious," Sherlock said, standing up as well.
"But I…" John said, looking between the two of them with his jaw dropped. "But I already made my decision."
"Well, we didn't like it so we made a different one for you," Jim said, walking over to John.
"I'm pretty sure I had a nightmare like this once," John joked sarcastically. "Jim, you don't just get to make my decisions for me!"
"I do when you make the wrong decision," Jim said softly. "You didn't really think I was going to let you go that easily, did you?"
John let out a shaky laugh and hugged Jim. "You're a right bastard, you know that, right?"
"I'm aware," Jim said with a smirk.
"Sherlock, you're really agreeing to this?" John asked, looking over at him. "Seriously?"
"I really did," Sherlock nodded.
"That's right, you're stuck with us Johnny!" Jim said, kissing John's cheek.
John laughed and tugged Sherlock over. He looked from Sherlock to Jim and then back again. "Jesus Christ, I must be mad," he said, shaking his head.
John couldn't believe he was standing in between two of the smartest men in the world and they both wanted him. Even more incredible was that they were both his. He'd never thought anything so ridiculous would happen to him in all his life. But then ridiculous had become the norm. John thanked God for his wonderful, ridiculous life and the two men he could call his very own.