"Mr. Watson, we have your test results."

This was it. The moment he had waited and dreaded for weeks. John had been asleep most of the time since his surgery so he had thankfully not had a lot of time to worry. Sherlock had been by his side the entire time and hovered close by now.

John felt the entire weight of his fear weighing on him and he was so glad to have Sherlock here. He couldn't imagine what this moment would be like without Sherlock's silent strength beside him. It seemed silly, now that he knew everything that he did, that he had kept his illness a secret for so long. He really had made things a lot harder on himself than it needed to be. He wasn't sure how he had managed to survive it without Sherlock's bravery and with the added weight of thinking Sherlock didn't care. Even now, with the adrenaline and fear coursing though his body and making him feel weak, he longed to reach out and take Sherlock's hand for more strength but he kept himself from doing that; what a ridiculous idea that was.

"Doctor Watson," Sherlock said pointedly.

John snickered a little to himself. Leave it to Sherlock to pay attention to titles at a time like this. John could care less but it lightened his heart slightly anyway.

"Dr. Watson," the doctor said while giving Sherlock a bit of glare. "We did your biopsy."

"Well, we're waiting." Sherlock said impatiently. John looked at him. Sherlock was nervous. His hand has shaking a little and he was rocking back and forth on his heals. John had never seen Sherlock act this way. Of course, these things were subtle and most people wouldn't even notice. But John could and it was very much out of character for Sherlock. John would have thought that seeing this small display of Sherlock's concern would have made him feel better. After all, he had waited so long to tell Sherlock about his problems because he felt Sherlock wouldn't be concerned. John had thought that seeing Sherlock's composure at his time of inner turmoil would crush him. But he knew now that he had gained strength from Sherlock's calm because now, seeing that Sherlock was worried, made John even more frightened. If Sherlock was worried, there really must be a reason. John's heart began racing, as could be obviously noticed on the heart monitor.

"It wasn't cancerous. You don't have cancer." John felt relief rush over him, like he'd never felt before. Weeks of worry left him replaced by an overwhelming sense of happiness and peace and he almost felt dizzy over it. Tears sprang to his eyes and he fought to keep them inside.

He stole a glance over at Sherlock and saw that Sherlock was grinning, ear to ear, like John had never seen before. Sherlock must not have been aware of what he was doing, because the second he noticed that John was looking at him he quickly replaced his huge smile with a smaller, more composed, grin. "That's quite a relief," he said looking around nervously trying to cover his sudden outburst of facial expression.

John was going to agree but he was so overwhelmed that he wasn't sure he could get the words out. "You do however have a pretty nasty infection, probably that you picked up during your time in the military. Its been growing and getting worse for a long time and your body just can't put up with it anymore. That's what's been causing your symptoms. We'll need to keep you for a few days to give you a round of medication but you'll be able to go home after that."

Home. John was going to get to go home and be well. He was going to get to keep on living. He couldn't help but smile at Sherlock and he could tell that Sherlock was having a hard time keeping his smile a small one.


"Hurry up John. If you're going to insist on doing this then I would prefer to get it over with sooner rather than later. Though it will do no good like I said." Sherlock said plopping down on the couch and rolling his eyes.

John shook his head as he headed for the couch to sit beside Sherlock. He was acting like this was all a terrible waste of his time. He was obviously choosing to forget that this was actually his idea. So, John played into it. "Well, if you really don't want to do it then that's fine."

"No, you want to do it, so I'll just put up with it but do hurry up."

John sighed. It was good to be home. He'd been in the hospital for longer than he or the doctors had expected. They had treated his infection but it had been much worse than they had expected and harder to get under control. He'd gotten sicker before he had gotten better.

It had been a terrible few days. He'd spent a great amount of time vomiting and rushing to the toilet. He had wondered many times if he would scare Sherlock away but he had stayed the entire time. Even now that they were home, Sherlock was there to take care of John. Well, he was trying to anyways. He wasn't very good at taking care of John and he couldn't help but urge John constantly to get better faster. But he was there and that's what John had really wanted all along anyway. John could tell that Sherlock was just itching to get out but he had stayed with John until John was well enough to go out too.

He had been the one to start asking questions about blood brothers. John had forgotten part of that conversation because Sherlock had asked him while he was in the throws of 'getting better' in the hospital and he was sure that he blacked out for part of that time. Sherlock had of course approached the subject like it was an experiment that needed to be conducted but John knew that it ran deeper than that.

Now that John was fully recovered he felt that it was finally safe for them to do it. Sherlock had a clean bill of health since they had allowed him to donate blood and John had just gotten the word that he was 100% well.

John took out his pocket knife which he had already cleaned and made a small cut on the palm of his hand. He reached over and did the same with Sherlock. Then he took Sherlock's hand in his own.

John hesitated before saying his part. The words had been true from the start but now Sherlock would know it. He spent so many weeks not telling Sherlock how he had felt because he was afraid that Sherlock wouldn't be there for him but he proved that he would.

John took a deep breath before he said the words that were on his heart. "I pledge myself to you in words and heart. To follow you anywhere and protect you at all costs. I give you my loyalty, trust and friendship." John hoped that Sherlock wouldn't think him too sentimental for saying all that but it was exactly the way he felt. And if this whole scare had taught him anything at all it was that life might be too short to waste it being afraid.

Sherlock was taken back by John's words. He'd already been feeling nervous about what he would say and John's words were so perfect they made him more nervous. He knew he would not be able to articulate his feelings as well as he wanted to. "I pledge to you a lifetime of loyalty and protection. To value you. To stand by your side always…"

Sherlock's words caught in his throat and threatened to strangle him. "I do wish I was better at words."

John just smiled back at him and said "It's enough." Then giving Sherlock's hand a final shake said "Brothers."

Sherlock returned the smile. "Brothers."

John saw it for a just a moment but it was enough. He saw the heart of Sherlock Holmes and in it he found himself. It was good to know. It had always been true but without the events of the past several weeks he wondered if he would have ever known.

But it was Sherlock so the glimpse was the briefest possible. In the next instance he was up off the couch and putting on his coat. "Now that we are done with all of this sentiment we need to get back to work. Your illness has put us very behind."

John smiled, getting up and reaching for his coat as well. "Sorry, I'll try to not be as inconsiderate the next time."

"See that you do," Sherlock said smiling back at him and dashing out the door.

And John followed him to the crime and trouble and danger where they both loved to be. By Sherlock's side like he would until the end of time. And, he knew now, with Sherlock by his side too no matter what.

I hoped you enjoyed "Blood Brothers." Thank you for reading and for all of the lovely reviews-they mean so much to me! Be sure and check out my newest story "You're Not Here."