Disclaimer: These wonderful characters were created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and in this version by Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss (bless them).
A/N: This entire story is told in the words and voice of John Watson.
How is it possible to be so honestly blind to your feelings that you don't see what is right in front of your eyes? I've always thought of myself as a fairly self aware bloke. I've always known what I want in life and I've gone out and got it...well, tried at least. So how did I miss the fact that I have been in love with my best friend for the last couple of years? How could I be in love and not know it? What makes it even stranger is that everyone around me saw it a lot before I did. And they remarked on it...often. And did I pay attention? No. I said, "I'm not gay." And I figured that was that. That's all that needed to be said. I mean if I'm not gay then I can't possibly be in love with my male best friend now can I?
As for Sherlock, he doesn't care for love and relationships and everything that goes with them. He made that very clear when he told me that he was married to his work. So between his marriage and my not being gay at all, thank you very much, we were best friends and nothing more despite everybody's assumptions and insinuations. And we were happy. It never occurred to me to wonder why none of my relationships ever worked out. Despite the fact that I was sure that I wanted to find a woman that I would fall in love with and marry her and have kids and the small house in the suburbs and so on.
I told myself that I just hadn't met the right woman, that's what it was. So I kept trying, I kept dating and I kept running out on my dates every time that Sherlock called or texted and I kept getting dumped. Every single one of those women told me that it was obvious that I cared more about Sherlock than I would ever care about them.
"That's not true!" I'd say, and then, "Well maybe it is, but he's my best friend and I can't just let him run off into danger like that. Do know how reckless he is? I have to be there to watch his back...and" They would look at me pityingly as if to say, "You poor sod, you just don't see it do you?" And then they would walk away.
After a while I stopped dating. It happened so gradually that I barely noticed. And then I found that I honestly preferred to spend the evening at home with Sherlock than be on a date with some woman I didn't know and pretend to be interested in what she had to say. I'd wasted too many evenings like that. So I stayed home and we talked and laughed and I made dinner while he worked on his experiments and then we sat quietly and read for hours or he played for me or we watched a movie together and it was a good life. It was a very good life. We were practically married and I still did not see it.
And then damn Moriarty got in the way and Sherlock jumped off a building and died...I saw him fall. I heard him fall...I don't think I will ever forget that sickening crunch as his head hit the pavement, or the sight of all that blood. Sherlock died and my heart broke into a million pieces. I went around in a daze for weeks after that. I didn't know where I was, I didn't know what I was doing...I barely remembered to eat and sleep. I realised that I had my friends worried. Everyone knew that Sherlock's death had hit me hard. He was my best friend, after all. But they assumed that after a couple of months, I would be done grieving and get over it and move on with my life or something. But I couldn't...
I quit my job at the clinic. I realised just a couple of hours into my shift on the first day that my mind was not all there. I was afraid that I would endanger someone either by misdiagnosing them or giving them the wrong medicine or God forbid, missing something essential that I should see. Initially, I thought I would just take a few days off. Sarah understood and she told me that I could go back whenever I felt ready. I have no idea what I have done to earn that woman's friendship but I'm very grateful for it.
I spent hours holed up in the flat, surrounded by things that reminded me of Sherlock. I took to wearing his clothes and sleeping in his bed. After the first month, I realised that I would soon run out of money. I would have to pull myself together and go out and get a job, if only to pay the rent. I didn't know how to do that, though...pull myself together, I mean. Then Mycroft came by one evening and told me something that shattered my heart even further. Sherlock had made a will, a year ago, leaving all the money in his trust fund to me, should anything happen to him.
It was the clearest sign yet that Sherlock had cared...enough to worry about me. It made me feel even worse about the way I had treated him the last time that we had been together...I had called him a machine...I would probably never forgive myself for that.
"I can't take it. I'm sorry." I said.
"Why?" Mycroft said.
"It doesn't belong to me." I said.
"Sherlock wanted you to have it."
"I really appreciate the gesture. It means a lot, but I still can't take it."
I knew I was being stubborn, but I couldn't take Sherlock's money. It didn't feel right, not after all the times that I had so strenuously denied even the possibility of a relationship between us with my repeated insistence that I'm not gay. Had Sherlock wanted a relationship like that with me? I wouldn't ever know now, but I couldn't ignore the fact that every time that someone had assumed that we were in a relationship. I was the only one that had done the denying. That coupled with the fact of his will made me wonder...
I was still angry with Mycroft for selling his brother out. So I didn't want to talk to him or have anything to do with him really. I think he knew that. He had stayed away from me until then, but I had a suspicion that he was having me watched.
"I really am sorry, John. I am having all the cases that he worked on reinvestigated. I will prove that all the charges against him are false. I promise." He said.
"That still won't bring him back, will it?"
He winced at that. "Just take the money, John. You are the only person that Sherlock ever cared about. This is the least I can do for him." He said and then he left.
Sarah came to see me a few months after Sherlock died. I was still a mess. I was afraid that she would goad me to get over it and tell me that I have to get on with life and so on but she didn't. She just held me and let me cry. "Are you still going to say that you were just friends?" She asked me gently. It was a while before I was able to speak. "No. We weren't just friends." I said finally. We weren't just a couple, either. We were soul mates, I thought. We were like missing pieces of each other, we met and connected and now it was impossible for one to exist without the other. I knew then that there would be no getting over it or moving on for me.
So I had to learn to live with this ache inside me. I had to learn to do more than sit and stare out of a window all day. I don't know how it happened exactly or why even, but one day, I started writing. Not my blog...I'd given that up after that final stubborn entry...I just started writing, about Sherlock. I wrote out every single memory that I had of him, everything he'd ever said and done...all the personal stuff that I had been so careful to leave out of my blog. I was not writing for anyone else now. I was writing for myself. If memories were all I had left, I was going to hold on to them as fiercely as I could.
As I kept writing, I discovered a couple of things. I had many more memories than I had realised. It took me four days to write about our first two days together. Also most of the memories were happy. I had been happy for the two short years that I had been with Sherlock...with him, the world just made sense, life was easy...it was interesting and fun and...The more I wrote, the more I found myself smiling. I was healing in a way, I guess. It helped that Mycroft had used his considerable resources to prove Sherlock's innocence beyond a doubt.
Somehow, a year went by. I was still miserable...I knew that was not about to change anytime soon, but I was no longer lost inside my own head. I went back to work and made an attempt to live my life. And then it was the anniversary of his death. I woke up after a restless night with a weight in my heart...It felt like Sherlock had died all over again. I wanted nothing more than to stay at home, stay in his bed all day. But I didn't. I pulled myself together and went to the graveyard with Mrs Hudson. I put flowers on his grave, I felt the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes and once again I prayed for a miracle. Little did I know that my miracle was at home waiting for me...
A/N: Reviews encourage me to write. So please let me know what you think.