Chapter 11: The violin
Sherlock sat on the edge of the hospital bed and looked down at his unconscious friend. In this bed, John looked a little bit smaller than usual, and far too pale. A painful memory that reminded Sherlock of how barely John had escaped death. According to the doctors he would recover from the shot, but he hadn't woken up since the operation. All he could do was wait until he finally awoke.
John had been in the hospital for five days now. Since then much had happened. Sherlock was officially risen from the dead. Mycroft had done much to establish the circumstances. A fact for which Sherlock was very grateful, because he could spend more time in the hospital at John's side, though he would never confess this to his brother. Mrs Hudson was overjoyed to have Sherlock back again, although she had been angry at first. Lestrade was just perplexed about the news, but when he'd finally digested it, he shook his head and muttered, "I should have known."
He had visited John a few times in the hospital and was very surprised with Sherlock's behaviour It wasn't typical for him to spend so much time with a person who was unconscious in the hospital. He knew that Sherlock wasn't good atshowing sentimentality. But John seemed to be an exception.
Sherlock didn't annoy Lestrade with any demands for special cases of murder or something similar, when he was visiting John at the hospital. He obviously seemed to be very worried about John. Although many who knew Sherlock said he had no heart, in reference to John, it was different.
Lestrade knew the circumstances of how John was hurt and wondered if Sherlock felt guilty in some way, because the bullet was intended for him. He put his hand on Sherlock's shoulder.
"John is a tough guy. He'll be fine."
Sherlock said nothing, just nodded. A nurse had mentioned to Lestrade that Sherlock had spent the night at John's side. He hadn't eaten nor had he drunk.
"I'm going to the cafeteria. Shall I bring you something?"
Sherlock shook his head.
"Sherlock, you have to eat or drink something."
"I don't need anything."
Lestrade sighed and tilted his head.
"Okay, I'll come back later and look after you two."
Sherlock didn't respond and Lestrade left the room, resigned. Silence settled in the room and there was no sound other than the soothing sound of the monitor registering John's heart beating and the regular shallow breathing of his friend. Sherlock glanced at John's hand lying lifeless on the bed. After some hesitation, he took it. John's fingers felt cold.
"John..." Sherlock began quietly. "Wake up, please. You have to wake up again."
Sherlock absently stroked over John's hand.
"I heard what you said at my grave. You think I'm a hero, but I'm not. You're a hero. Not just because you are always saving my life... I mean, you make my life worth living."
Sherlock winced a bit at his own words. Now that he had spoken them to him the profound truth in it was suddenly clear to him.
"John, you're not the only one who was alone. And I owe you so much more. So please wake up. Just wake up. For me."
It wasn't that Sherlock was hoping John would wake up at this moment. Life wasn't a bad TV show where people just woke up from a coma, only because their loved ones just revealed their innermost feelings and asked them to. Sherlock took a deep breath and cleared his throat. He slowly let go of John's hand. Sherlock felt an uncomfortable pulling in the chest. Maybe it was time for a cup of tea. With one last look at his sleeping friend, he left the room and headed for the cafeteria.
John opened his eyes and smiled slightly. As Sherlock had taken John's hand, he slowly regained his consciousness. He had heard Sherlock's voice, had heard the words spoken by his best friend to him. He didn't dare to open his eyes, because he didn't want him to stop. Although Sherlock always said what he thought and didn't worry about what other people think of him, or what the consequences are, he rarely spoke about his feelings. John thought about Sherlock's words. He had never thought that he was so important to Sherlock. That their feelings for each other were based on reciprocity. Of course he knew that Sherlock liked him and considered him his only friend. But that he made Sherlock's life worth living?
He was nothing special. An ex-Army doctor who followed Sherlock more like a trained dog and did everything for him. Mycroft once had asked him why he had become loyal to Sherlock so fast, even though they had just met each other. John had realised very quickly that Sherlock was a very special person. Other people didn't appreciate his brilliance and intelligence, and often responded to him with hatred and envy. He realised that he wanted to protect Sherlock.
I mean, you make my life worth living.
John felt strangely as he thought about that sentence of Sherlock's again. He couldn't believe that Sherlock considered him so valuable and appreciated him so much. But as he thought about past events and about how Sherlock had told him why he had to fake his death, the truth sank warm into his heart and closed the deep wound that Sherlock's 'suicide' had ripped in him.
Sherlock had told him that he wanted him to be safe and not get himself into the position of risking his life for him. He knew Moriarty was going to kill John this time at their end game. That was one of the main reasons he didn't tell John of his plan. He just wanted to protect him.
Sherlock obviously had the same concern about John's life as he did. Although John didn't consider himself valuable, but Sherlock did. John realised that he wouldn't let Sherlock go through the same nightmare he had experienced when he thought his best friend ... His best friend. John grinned at the thought. Sherlock was so much more than his best friend. And after Sherlock's speech it was clear that John also was much more to him. He couldn't define what they were, but it went beyond anything John had ever experienced.
He made a promise to himself. He would work on himself. He had to find his own value again, as it was clear that he could only come back for Sherlock to be there for him when he found himself again.
At that moment the door opened and a depressed-looking Sherlock crept back into John's hospital room. Sherlock looked at John's face in surprise. Grey blue clearly awake eyes looked into his bright blue and Sherlock's amazement gave way to a wide grin as John smiled at him.
"John, you're awake!"
"Obviously," he croaked, his voice not yet accustomed to speaking.
Sherlock smirked, walked over and sat down on the bed.
"How are you?"
"Like someone shot me. Again."
"You shouldn't let this become a habit."
"No. Not really."
"You got him, by the way. William Moriarty is dead."
"Of course I got him. Have you ever seen me miss?"
Sherlock shook his head slightly.
"Thank you, John. That was really ... You know. But please don't do that again. I don't want to have a new roommate."
"Don't worry. I'll do my best."
Sherlock nodded and put his hand on his, which irritated John at first but he allowed it.
"I'll call Mrs Hudson and tell her that you're awake. She's been worried sick."
"So everything is okay?"
Sherlock nodded. "Everything is as it was before. You just have to come home. "
A few days later John was finally released. Sherlock picked him up and they went home together. John was surprised to see that the condition of the apartment hadn't changed since he left. In Sherlock's absence he had cleaned up the apartment and done everything properly. During his time in hospital he had expected to find a mess when he got back home.
"It's so neat."
"You've cleaned everything. I've tried to keep it that way," muttered Sherlock.
John pursed his lips and nodded, surprised. He went to his chair and sat down wearily. Although he was released from the hospital, his complete recovery would still take a while.
"Does that mean it'll look clean in here from now on?"
"I wouldn't bet on it," Sherlock grinned and brought John a cup of tea from the kitchen.
He gladly accepted, while Sherlock sat down beside him on the sofa.
"One thing has surprised me," Sherlock said finally.
"Mmmhh?" declared John, as he sipped his tea carefully.
"You've cleaned up everything, but my violin was still there exactly where I left it."
"I don't know. You'd put it there and told me that you wanted to continue to compose your new piece after the case. It sounds silly, but I couldn't move it somewhere else, because I still hoped you come back."
Sherlock thought briefly about John's words.
"You're right. It sounds silly. Shall I play for you?"
John smiled and nodded. Sherlock took his violin and went to the window. He smilingly looked out on the street with its traffic and the people walking by. Their adventure will continue. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson together again at Baker Street.
And as Sherlock began to play John could feel it, just by watching and listening to his friend. At that moment he felt that his personal world was back in balance. He was back home. Home was 221b Baker Street together with Sherlock.