A/N; So I decided that I had to take on another million important activities and other lame-o things (besides the million things I already have going) which leaves me almost no time to update.
But never fear, dear readers! This is where procrastination comes in ;)
This fic could really be long and in-depth like my other fics. But, as I have just stated, life suddenly got really busy (and just so you know, I consider my fanfiction life to be my real life...;D). I really don't have the time to do another multi-chapter fic, not with Healing And Crying and Up All Night still in progress. So, my friends, this is the end...*sniff...sniff...BAWWWWWL*
Thank you for everyone who followed and favorited and reviewed and read, as usual...I hope that this is a good conclusion *bites nails*. Eventually, when my schedule finally decides to stop being so damn full, I might actually do a sequel...I really do want to explore more with this topic.
"Sherlock, stay still."
"Why? It's so boring!"
John gave him a stern glare. "Well, maybe you should've thought of that before you started slicing your arm to pieces."
That shut him up. John felt just a little bit guilty, but he repressed it in order to take care of his friend.
John finished stitching up the deeper cuts and slathered a little bit more disinfectant on them. He put a few plasters on the surface scratches to prevent infection and stood up, packing his doctor bag. "Okay, you're done."
Sherlock nodded solemnly and stood abruptly, heading for the stairs.
"Hold on just a moment."
Sherlock turned back around slowly. "What?" he asked, no emotion in his voice.
John sat down on his bed, face concerned. He gestured to the small space opposite him.
"I want to talk."
"John, I have no intention of talking to you about why I do this…"
John shook his head. "No, I don't want to talk about your problem." He sighed. "I want to apologize."
Sherlock stopped and stared.
I must have missed something.
"For…for what I said, earlier today." John looked ashamed. "Sherlock, when I said that to Sebastian…you must understand that I was frustrated with you and I wasn't thinking straight."
Sherlock slowly sat down across from John. "But…why?"
John tilted his head. "Why what?"
"Why…why are you apologizing now?" Sherlock asked hesitantly.
"Because I can see how much it affected you."
Sherlock stared down at his hands. "John…"
"I know you're not okay, Sherlock." John said quietly. "I just want you to know that, if you need me, I'm always right here."
Sherlock looked up. His eyes were squinted, like he was trying not to cry.
"I'm your friend, Sherlock. I know you haven't had many, and I know I've done a right shitty job of it so far." John took Sherlock's hands carefully. "But I'm trying."
Sherlock nodded. "It isn't easy, being the only friend of a sociopathic detective who doesn't understand human emotions."
John smiled. "I know. And it isn't easy for you to be the friend of an adrenaline-addicted ex-army doctor who is an insensitive git sometimes."
They sat in comfortable silence for several minutes. Finally, Sherlock spoke.
"It started when I was a teenager."
John said nothing, eyes attentive.
"When I was a child, it never bothered me that I was…different than the other children. I felt like I was…special. Gifted."
Sherlock's eyes slanted downward. "However, as I entered my teen years, I became more and more aware of my differences. There had always been teasing, of course, but it escalated at a rapid rate not long after my thirteenth birthday. Physical beatings and name-calling were favored; especially the term which Sally Donovan has so lovingly bestowed upon me."
"Oh, god." John groaned. "You mean…every time she calls you that…"
Sherlock shook his head. "I had always been able to block it out before. But somehow, this time, the names…worked their way into my mind palace. They stuck there, like tar; no matter what I did, I couldn't get them out."
John nodded, beginning to understand. "So you needed a coping mechanism…"
"…And cutting myself seemed to be the best solution, yes." Sherlock put the tips of his fingers together in his typical thinking position. "You must understand, John, that to be trapped in a mind as brilliant as mine can sometimes blind me to the obvious. You are well aware of my loathing of the transport and its necessary functions…"
"Meaning that you barely sleep, you use way too many nicotine patches, and you don't eat for days on end."
Sherlock shrugged. "Yes…if you must put it that way. To my teenage self, cutting seemed the best way to get rid of the tarnish on my mind palace."
Sherlock took a deep breath. "Seeing Sebastian again, after…after everything that happened, it really affected me more than I thought it would." He decided not to mention John's comment. It would only make him feel worse. "I told myself I would never relapse, but…" Sherlock broke off, unable to continue.
John opened his arms and Sherlock fell into them.
They stayed like that for several minutes. John could feel wet tears against his jumper as Sherlock silently sobbed in his arms.
"I know, 'Lock, I know…let it all out, love…" Love? Where had that come from?
Sherlock sniffled into John's jumper.
It feels like my world is crashing down around me.
Suddenly, through the tears and clouds that seemed to fill his mind palace, a question popped into his head.
Sherlock looked up into John's face, eyes red. "Why?"
John's face turned confused. "What do you mean, why?"
"Why are you doing this?"
John looked uncomfortable. "Because we're friends. This is what friends do."
"No," Sherlock said carefully. "No…I don't think so. This isn't what friends do…"
Unless I'm wrong in my assumtions…
"This is what couples do, isn't it?"
John's face went white. "What?"
"Sherlock…do you know what you just said?"
Sherlock nodded awkwardly. "I…I know…"
"This…this changes everything."
Sherlock tensed up. "I'm sorry…I'll just…go…"
John shook his head fervently and pulled Sherlock back down into his lap. "No no no!" He gently took Sherlock's face between his hands.
"All I meant, 'Lock, is that if that's what you want…" John's eyes seemed to soften. "I wouldn't object."
Sherlock raised his eyebrows and laughed hollowly. "John 'I'm-not-actually-gay' Watson?" His eyes were shadowed with guilt and sadness. "You don't have to pretend, John. Not for me."
John seemed to stare straight into Sherlock's soul. His eyes were fiery. "I'm not pretending, Sherlock." He took a deep breath. "I didn't think I'd ever be this lucky, to have you actually return my feelings. But if you do…if this is what you want…" John trailed off.
Sherlock nodded slowly, eyes wide. "John…"
Sherlock wasn't sure how or when they had gotten so close. But, he thought to himself as John's soft lips met his, he really didn't mind.
He had problems, it was true. Major ones, ones that couldn't be fixed with comfort and a kiss. But John had problems too, probably some Sherlock didn't even know about. To hell with it; the whole world had problems.
But they would confront them together.
John and Sherlock.
Sherlock and John.
Just as it always had been and always would be.