Concentrate, Sherlock told himself, squeezing his eyes shut. The case, just the case. The work is the only thing that matters.
Twenty-seven-year-old Caucasian man, originally from Manchester, lived in London for the past five years. Divorced two, no three, months but still in denial, still wearing his ring, even though the divorce was his fault. Married for six years, high school sweethearts. He'd been cheating for the last two of those years. Owner of a small failing Internet business, business was only a year or so old.
So much change in so little time, was that what pushed him over the edge? Who had he walked out on?
John, walking out of their flat. Not slamming the door, but barely keeping his temper. Off to a trauma conference for the week, staying at the hotel even though it was being held in London. Partially for the networking opportunities but mostly because they'd spent the bulk of the past week fighting.
A doctor of his caliber, John should have at least three if not four job offers to choose from by the time the conference wrapped up. That was the whole point anyway. And Mycroft could just stay the bloody hell out of it.
Distracted, again. This had to stop. Opening his eyes, Sherlock looked again at the body sprawled in the leather desk chair. Small caliber handgun in his left hand, oozing wound from his left temple. Rather clean, as suicides go. Left-handed, judging from the handwriting and the angle of the teacup. If it was staged, the murderer had at least gone to the trouble to get those details right. The only reason Sherlock was there was because the ex-wife was missing. That made it interesting.
Having chased everyone else out, Sherlock was the only one left in the room. He worked better alone anyway. Right then. Missing, what was missing? John was missing. No, yes he was but no, can't think about that now. What's missing here? Besides John.
He stared at the suicide note, something was very wrong. The writing was slow and deliberate at first, quick and almost sloppy towards the end. That was wrong but why was it wrong? Because John wasn't here to ask him questions and encourage him to figure it out.
And continually running down this train of thought was wrong too, he had to stop thinking about John. Focus!
The door to the study opened. "Is it really completely beyond your collective capability to leave me alone for five minutes," he said flatly, without even bothering to turn around. It didn't matter who it was, Sherlock wanted them gone. "Get out."
"You," came a very familiar voice as John strode into the room. "Are the world’s worst liar."
Sherlock turned around to look at John but didn't make a move toward him even as he drank in the sight. John was supposed to be safely on the other side of town, impressing his future employers, not invading a crime scene that Sherlock deliberately hadn't told him about. He hadn't forbidden anyone else to tell him though, and that clearly was a mistake. Most likely his brother or Lestrade, both were first class meddlers.
Sherlock opened his mouth but he never had a chance as John moved right up next to him. "Don't even," John interrupted, forestalling Sherlock's protest with a finger on his lips. "You can't lie worth a damn to anyone you care about and you know it. "
John increased the pressure of his fingertip as Sherlock tried to move his lips to protest. "You can do the charm and the puppy dog eyes and the whole 'yes you believe me look' with people who don't know you. Look me in the eye and tell me again that you don't want me around and maybe I'll buy it this time. But I doubt it."
Sherlock wanted him more than anything, needed John in ways he'd never needed anyone in his life. But he’d made a vow to himself and so forced his way out of John’s grasp. John let his arms go lax but didn’t move away from Sherlock. John wouldn't stop looking at him either, waiting patiently for Sherlock's answer and Sherlock knew he wouldn't let him leave the room until this was settled.
"I don't," he started, looking John straight in the eye… but damn him, he couldn't do it. Sherlock cleared his throat, took a step back, and tried again. "You don't belong here." Sherlock looked down at the floor. That wasn't what he meant to say. He needed to say that John could never keep up with him, that he didn't need or want him in his life. That he couldn't think when John was there. But none of that was true and he couldn't bring himself to lie to John again. It had taken everything he had to yell all those things last night, to force John to leave in the first place. He had tried and failed to do what was best for his friend and selfish man that he was, he wanted John to stay. No matter how unfair it was to him.
But, as he often was with things that really mattered, John was already two steps ahead of him.
"Stop with what you think I need, or what you think you think I should need. I've got enough people in my life doing that. I belong right here with you," John said firmly, holding himself military straight in the same way he had when they'd first met.
Giving in, Sherlock pulled John close and put his head down on John's shoulder. He felt John's arms come up around him, holding him tightly now. Sherlock was shaking, why was he shaking? It didn't matter though. John was the strongest anchor he'd ever had. John was here and that was all that mattered.
"I was right, you are an idiot." John's voice dropped down lower as he told Sherlock, "Luckily for you, you're my idiot and I love you."
Overwhelmed, Sherlock couldn't get his voice to cooperate in order to respond. He'd suspected John loved him, but hearing the words out loud made it real.
They held onto each other for a few minutes in this stranger's house with a dead body not three feet away until John asked just as softly as before, "Alright now?" But he didn't move away, just dropped feather light kisses on the top of Sherlock's head as he waited patiently, as he always did, for an answer.
Sherlock just nodded against him and felt John's body moving slightly with suppressed laughter. With any luck, John wouldn't make him talk about it right now. Sherlock didn't think he could string together a coherent sentence but for John, he would try. There was so much he should say, starting with I missed you. I don't like sleeping alone anymore. You keep me sane. I love you. Don't leave me. Don't let me ever drive you away.
Sherlock wasn't strong like John was but he trusted John more than he trusted anyone. And maybe that could be enough. Even if he couldn't actually say the words.
"It's okay. I know you, remember." John hugged him tightly and just when Sherlock was starting to feel a bit confined, let him go. But he didn't go far as he asked, "Now, do you want me to take a look?"
Sherlock couldn't help leaning in to kiss John. It was quick but had all the feeling he could put into it. Something else they shouldn't be doing at a crime scene but Sherlock couldn't bring himself to care.
“Please.” And for once, Sherlock was sincere. “I'm missing something, you can probably help me figure it out.” As Sherlock started to turn back to the body, he caught John’s look of surprise. “Yes, yes, I need you."
And then, because clearly he was in this for good, added, "And not just for this." It wasn't even close to all the words John deserved but apparently it was enough. John smiled, the kind that lit up his entire face, and walked over to examine the body, Sherlock following closely behind.