A/n: Working on a Mrs. Hudson and a Molly chapter and a couple of other things. I've been brainstorming, but this is set…if you read Ink and Reaction it is right after Sherlock tries his first attempt at looking at John's tattoos. John storms out of the house and Sherlock doesn't see him for the rest of the day. So I see John just in panic mode trying to figure out everything.
It was almost dark when John turned around and headed back towards Baker Street. Night was falling over London and the last of the sun's rays reflected off the buildings. John had been walking all day and trying to compose his thoughts about the events that morning. Up until now it had never been a huge problem to hide his tattoos even while living with Sherlock. John wore jumpers and other clothing that kept his tattoos hidden. The violin was especially easy to hide, but now all of Sherlock's attention would be focused on what upset Sarah which was the violin. Oh how was he going to get out of this mess?
It wasn't when Sherlock died or when he had his violin tattooed on his chest that John realized how important Sherlock actually was to him. John had known since his meeting with Irene, now over three years ago, that he did in fact love Sherlock Holmes. What kind of love he had held in his heart for the detective for all that time, he wasn't sure. When Sherlock was dead, it wasn't really a problem. You don't have to worry about a dead man walking in on you or analyzing you every moment. When he had showed up in the flat, things had gotten complicated for John.
John's world had been turned upside down by the revelation that his best friend was in still alive. Even so, the tattoo would remain on his chest and reminded him every day that Sherlock had been gone for three years. Sometimes he was sure he had just gone mad and imagined the detective living with him again. The tattoo was complicated. It meant so much when Sherlock was gone but now…now it seemed like a burden.
After today things would be even more difficult. When he had gotten the tattoo, he could still insist that they hadn't been a couple. It was true after all. They weren't a couple while Sherlock was alive. Once he had talked to Irene and spilled all his secrets to her about his worries and his too late wishes, things were different. He had said them all out loud. He had made them real and it had made him realize that on some level he had been in love with Sherlock Holmes. Whether infatuation or admiration he still wasn't sure and he fought against it at first. There were more girls in and out of 221B that month than John normally saw in a year, but they weren't enough. They didn't analyze him, challenge him or lead him to danger. After a while he gave up trying to fill the gap.
After months of trying to analyze his own sexuality, John had finally settled the argument with himself. He had loved Sherlock and now that he was gone there was no one to replace him. It didn't matter man or woman. They weren't Sherlock. He had never met anyone like the detective before and probably never would again. John had resigned himself that he would be alone again, possibly forever. The weight of the realization brought his depression crushing back down on him at first. He helped Mycroft restore Sherlock's name and he tried to move on with his life. Then it all went to hell when Sherlock showed up at his doorstep one evening. John ran a hand through his hair. He passed some shops that were closing down for the night.
Now here they were. Sherlock had figured out that he had tattoos and wanted to know where and what. John had practically run out of the flat. He was angry that Sherlock was snooping, but his fear overwhelmed his anger. Fear of rejection and dismissal filled his mind. If Sherlock saw, he would know. If he knew, he would laugh at him and send him packing for sure. Sherlock hated anything sentimental and he would only see the tattoo as sentiment. Sherlock had been back from the grave for eight months, but now John was going to lose him all over again and it would all be his own fault.
Anger overwhelmed him again. He dug his fists back into his jacket. Why did Sherlock leave? Why did he leave John to suffer and to need to get the damn thing tattooed on his chest? Why did he call him in his last moments and punish John with the words that he was a fake? Why? Why? Why? John knew of course why. He left to save him. Even so, most of the time it didn't seem like enough.
Why did Sherlock leave to save him if was only going to tear John's world apart? Why did he come back and act like everything was the same? So much had changed. John knew he wanted something more with Sherlock. He almost needed it, but the fear of rejection was almost crippling. How could he walk back into the flat now? Sherlock would see everything all over his face just like the other night.
Sarah, of course, had been of the last ditch efforts for John to keep his feelings for Sherlock hidden. He really cared about Sarah and hoped that their relationship would work out. He thought if he started dating again things would go back to the way they had been. John kept waiting for reality to set in. He waited for the experiments, the shouting and the violin playing to drive him mad all over again. It never happened. Eight months in and he was still happy to hear those noises every time he woke up. The flat had been so silent for three years. It felt like the life had been breathed back into it.
John looked up. He was back at 221B. All the lights in the flat were off. Could Sherlock be sleeping? Impossible. John made his way slowly silently up the stairs. To John's great surprise Sherlock appeared to be sleeping on the couch. John walked over and watched the man breathing for a moment. Sherlock was on his back spread across the couch. He was so tall his limbs stretched past the confines of the couch. His face was relaxed though, and he seemed so peaceful.
"Alright Sherlock, I'll let you see them... Just...please don't let me down," John spoke low hoping not to wake up the sleeping detective. He went upstairs and went to bed hoping Sherlock wouldn't press him tomorrow. He wasn't ready to show him the tats yet. He promised himself he would explain everything soon. Until then he needed time to sort himself out and decide how he was going to explain the violin to Sherlock.
A/N: Input always appreciated.