A/N: Okay, guys. So I started watching Sherlock last week. I also finished watching Sherlock last week, at 3am, silently sobbing into my pillow and hating everyone who recommended it to me. That night, I decided to grief-write. So I wrote this at 4am. Left it to fester for a few days. Came back to it. And decided...fuck it. It's not great, but it stopped the heartbreak for a while.
And sorry if I mess up anything canon-wise. I am but a newbie!
For Laura and Izzie, because they are the founders of the Make-Paula-watch-Sherlock-so-she-will-write-glorious-tragic-Post-Reichenbach-angst movement. Also known as the MPwSsswwgtPRa movement, according to Laura.
Ladies, I promise that when the wound heals, you will get proper Post-Reichrnbach angst. Maybe. But for now, have my nighttime scribblings as a thank you.
Sometimes, John Watson feels calm.
These are the days when nobody looks him in the eye, when nobody asks him Questions.
Because these Questions are usually asked by near-strangers with gossip mongering hearts, and he is sick of the pity stained irises, the faux worry dripping from the downturn of every frown. He had grown used to this when he got sh - when he came home.
But it was different then. It is different now.
Back then, there was always somebody to blame. Blame the man who held the rifle, blame the man who ordered him to, blame the countries for being at war, blame the people for allowing it to happen, blame yourself.
For being there.
But it is different now.
There is no blame here. No, no. Now, when they stare at him, they search his face for truth, only truth. They want to know everything. They want to know what it was like to live with Sherlock Holmes, they want to know how John was fooled for so long, they want to know if he loved him.
"It wasn't like that," John says. "It wasn't like that."
When he thinks back, though...
But it is different now. Everything is different now.
Sometimes, John Watson is livid.
These are the days when people ask their stupid fucking Questions, when the flat is too empty and too quiet, when that violin sits in the corner of the room and doesn't make a fucking sound.
These are the days when John can't handle it.
"You bastard," he mutters. "You utter BASTARD!"
Sometimes he throws things.
Sometimes the books are pulled from their shelves by hands that shake and tremble. Sometimes the lamp hits the floor and the lightbulb shatters. Again. And again.
Sometimes he finds the nicotine patches, or an old packet of cigarettes, or a piece of paper with Sherlock's spidery scrawl curling into the margins, and the only thing he can do is scream at them for existing.
(Scream at Sherlock for not.)
"You bastard," he growls at no one, because there is no one to hear him now. "You selfishprick. You didn't have to - you never had to -"
(This is my note.)
"No. No, no, you didn't have to - "
"NO! FUCKING - FUCK! NO!"
And he is punching the walls again, catching his fingernails in old bullet holes, tearing at the wallpaper like a savage, an animal.
The violin still sits in the corner of the room, but it does not make a sound.
Sometimes, John Watson feels empty.
These are the days when he doesn't crawl from the bed at all, when he doesn't give anyone a chance to ask him Questions, when he just...doesn't...move.
The duvet holds him, keeps him warmer than he could even begin to feel, and the bedroom sometimes shrinks around him.
Mrs Hudson comes and goes.
"Would you like some tea, John, dear?" she asks, and her voice is the kind of happy the doctor prescribes after days of anxiety attacks and hysterical crying.
John should know.
"No, thank you," he says, but he doesn't look at her.
The door closes.
It is on these days that John stares at the ceiling, sighs long and low, and hates himself.
Hates himself for giving up. Hates himself for not trying hard enough. Hates himself for caring.
(Will caring about them help save them?)
Slowly, the room gets smaller, the ceiling lower, the sky darker.
Sometimes, there is an echo of a violin in his ears.
It is never enough.
Days like these, they are few and far between, and he always thinks that this, this is the last one. No more after this. This is the last time.
But it never is, not really.
Sometimes, John Watson is lonely.
He came back to England a damaged hero, a broken man.
But he was grabbed by the throat and thrown into the heat of the flames and, yes, this is what he lives for no matter how much he hates it; that rush, that danger, that thrill. He lives for that horror story ending, the broken body at the end of a staircase, the man with the noose marks around his neck but a knife in his chest. He lives for the labs and the police reports and the blogs and the ultimate resolution.
He lives for Sherlock, and for what Sherlock does.
(Don't make people into heroes, John. Heroes don't exist, and if they did, I wouldn't be one of them.)
He swallows painfully.
Sherlock is dead. Heroes don't exist. Villains are just sick, sick men.
John is alone.
And everything is different now.
(Sometimes, John Watson is busy, and excited, and annoyed, and Sherlock is laughing, or thinking, or incessantly talking, and they are happy.
The sky is bright and the air is fresh and the cases are thrilling. Everything is perfect, everything is right.
John wakes up sweating.
Everything is different now.)