John closed his eyes as he got violently sick over the toilet. He was trying not to see all the blood but even with his eyes closed he knew it was there. It had been for weeks now. When he was sure that he was done getting sick he backed away from the toilet and sat down on the floor against the wall.
He put his head in his hands and fought the impulse to cry. Weeks of fear were weighing down on him and he felt that he was becoming too weak to fight it off. No one knew the fear he was carrying around. But he fought off the tears. He was sure that Sherlock would know in an instant something was wrong.
When the symptoms had started he hadn't thought much about it. He'd lost his appetite. His stomach started to hurt. He thought he was getting a bug and he had told Sherlock as much when he asked. Sherlock had naturally noticed that John had altered his eating habits and had commented on it. But when the weeks went on and he hadn't felt better but instead felt much worse, the fear and dread set in. He began to wonder if this was what he had always feared.
Soon, the nausea was so bad he couldn't keep anything down. Even with his empty stomach the indigestion and heartburn were so bad medicine did nothing to chase it away. He started throwing up on a daily basis. He was a doctor and he knew the signs. He knew something was very wrong with him and he suspected he knew exactly what it was. But he was terrified to find out. It was always something he feared he would have to go through but that he'd always hoped he wouldn't have to. But when he started passing blood and throwing it up he knew he couldn't ignore (or rather run away from) what was happening to him.
John had spent weeks hiding this fear from Sherlock. When the symptoms had progressively gotten worse he'd kept them to his self and Sherlock never had asked after the one time. He had went on with life as normal, still going with Sherlock on cases, he'd even been able to sneak off to the doctor without Sherlock knowing. But as the weeks of worrying wore down his resolve and the physical symptoms worse down his body it was becoming more and more difficult to hide what was going on.
He'd been to the doctor who had said it could be nothing. John had noticed that the doctor hadn't said it was "probably" nothing. He had said it "could" be nothing. He knew what that meant; it was more likely that there was a problem than that there wasn't. The doctor had ordered the test and John had waited in agony the three weeks before his scheduled appointment. That day was still two days away. He battled between wanting that day to come so he could know the truth and being terrified of that day because once he got a diagnosis there would be no going back.
John was so tired of worrying. He didn't want to be sick. He didn't want to die. Thinking about it all he finally decided that he would give into the tears. He hadn't cried about it. He had tried to not even to think about it, to focus on other things. But Sherlock was in the kitchen with his eyes glued to the microscope and had been there for hours. If John was lucky, Sherlock wouldn't notice him for the rest of the evening. John grabbed a towel off the rack and buried his face into it to muffle the cries. He didn't cry often and he sobbed even less frequently but he had no outlet for his stress and this would just have to do.
Its not that John hadn't wanted to tell Sherlock what was going on. He did the first moment he started to suspect what was wrong but he didn't. Sherlock was his closest friend. But why should Sherlock have to worry? There was nothing he could do to help and why should he have to worry as much as John was when there might not even be a cause? Besides, he knew he was really looking for comfort of some type and he was sure that he wasn't going to find it in Sherlock. In fact, if he was perfectly honest with himself he didn't tell Sherlock because he thought Sherlock would worry; he wasn't telling Sherlock because he thought Sherlock wouldn't worry.
He was sure that Sherlock would say all this worry was irrational, since John didn't actually have a diagnosis. Sherlock didn't make conclusions without all of the facts and John didn't have all the facts yet, just enough to scare him. John wasn't sure he could stand opening up to Sherlock and being so vulnerable only to have Sherlock make him feel stupid.
And even worse than that was thinking that Sherlock might not even care. Sometimes he really wondered about Sherlock. What if John was dying and that didn't bother Sherlock at all? John was pretty sure that would just finish him off. John didn't really know where he stood with Sherlock most of the time. John knew what Sherlock meant to him, how important he was to him, how glad he was to have him in his life. But they never talked about it and Sherlock certainly didn't wear his feelings on his sleeve. John knew that Sherlock had become the best friend he had ever had. He hoped the same was true for Sherlock but he couldn't be at all sure.
Sherlock always had it together, was always so calm and put together. John tried to be the same. But John was haunted. He was haunted by memories of the past and a fear that the same had come for him.
John wiped his eyes and face when he was sure that he had no more tears left to cry and hung the towel back on the rack. He stood up and flushed the toilet and watched as the red disappeared, making sure that no traces of it was left behind.