Actions

Work Header

Much That Once Was, is now Lost

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

Sherlock Holmes considered himself a smart man, stoic in the face of danger, and calm under pressure. However, as he sits across from his arch-enemy, he wonders how many ways he could wipe the cocky grin off the iceman’s face.

“It’s for mummy, Sherlock. You know how she worries”. The silver eyes glisten with humour, knowing there is no way out for the younger man.

“Bugger off Mycroft, we both know you give her weekly updates, so she has nothing to be concerned for.” Sherlock’s glare at his brother hardens when Mycroft gives him a knowing look of pity. One often received from people of authority in his life, especially after…

“It’s been 18 months, Mycroft! We both know I’ve kept my side of the deal, so no use in milking it any further”. Sherlock stands and walked over to the window to pick up his violin and annoy his brother into letting it go. Mycroft, however, doesn’t even bat an eye to Sherlock's outburst.

“This is a close family friend of hers, she specifically requested your attendance. Something about meeting people and not wanting you to die alone”. Sherlock did what any grown man would do in utter frustration, he ignored his brother completely.

Mycroft let out a dramatic sigh, one not far off from his brother.

“The engagement party is this Saturday in Chelmsford, and I will send a car to pick you up at 11 for the day's festivities. This is not up for negotiation, dear brother. This is a family matter, one which you will attend for mummy sake.”  With that, he turned and left baker street.

Sherlock returned the violin to its case and flopped dramatically onto the leather couch. He could think of seven escape plans in the back of his head, four of which are not completely illegal. If only Lestrade wasn’t withholding good cases from him. He has been more lenient the past few months, since the change, but Sherlock suspects Mycroft has something to do with the lack of cases the past few weeks.

Sherlock knows he didn’t have much say in the matter, mummy rarely demands he attends events. She was always the one who understood he was a little different from those around him, always allowed the space he needed. Many called him a freak, she simply called him her “little scientist”. Her undying support is what makes her demand his presence, after all, he had little else in the way of friends.

Never in his life has he wanted a case more.

Chapter Text

January 2012

 

Sherlock always hated returning to Uni after Christmas break. What a waste it was to his mind to have to attend pointless lectures when the time could be spent in the lab or pestering the new detective inspector Lestrade into letting him on a case. Perhaps Victor will be available later to help quiet his mind. Mummy wouldn’t like it, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Besides, it’s only when he needs to turn off his brain and just relax he will go to him.

The professor was going on about the final project for this literature class, and it wasn’t until he heard the topic at hand that he focused back on the present.

“The final project this term will be a paper written on The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien himself taught here at Oxford! The themes will be taken from our lessons, so be sure to attend each class to fully grasp the concepts!”

Sherlock rolled his eyes for the umptieth time during the lecture. English was a boring subject, but one last semester and he will finally be rid of this waste of space they consider a university. Although he dreads the subject, he can’t deny he has a soft spot for the mythology of the middle earth. He always did want to be an explorer, he much preferred the idea of pirates over rangers, but a project that he won’t kill himself to write made him just a little excited to hit the library after class.

As he made his way out of the lecture hall, he decided instead of the campus library he would have a better chance of finding what he needed from the one across town. This way he can stop by Victor's flat on the way home, if necessary.

---

The public library was mostly empty at noon on a Tuesday, except for the occasional worker restocking the shelves. Sherlock wasn’t sure how long he had been reading, but by the time he looked up the sun had completely vanished. He was packing his things when he noticed he wasn’t at his table alone. Sometime in the hours he spent reading up on the shire, a woman with long sandy blond hair sat across from him.

“Did you know you mumble while you are reading?” she didn’t even look up from the book she was holding. Sherlock glared at her with pure annoyance.

“I didn’t realize people came into the library to judge other people reading habits” Sherlock snarled back.

Her deep blue eyes looked up from her book, and they were glistening with amusement

“I heard you quoting Gandalf and I thought maybe you were talking to me” she lifted her hands to show the cover of her book – The Hobbit.

They locked eyes and Sherlock was momentarily lost in the blue, but before he thought too much of it, he put on his best-repulsed faces opened his genius of a mouth.

Before he was able to say anything, the blond stuck out her hand as a peace offering.

“The names John Watson,” she said, with the outreached palm.

“Well, John,” he said with the most venom he could muster,

“You think I would go out of my way to speak with a failing to medical student that struggles to afford uni since she got kicked off the football team. Let’s not pretend you don’t have a younger brother who is worried about you, but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him. Possibly because he’s an alcoholic, more likely because he cheated in his girlfriend. You don’t have many friends because of moving around sine dad is in the military, you blame it on choice, but who would want to befriend a failed doctor with a fuckup leg. That’s enough to know I do not want to talk to you, don’t you think? And the names Sherlock Holmes, I doubt you’ll be forgetting that. Afternoon!”

He got up and abruptly and stormed away, silently gloating with pride that he crushed another annoying student like a bug. What he did not expect was for her to run him down outside the library.

“WAIT!” Sherlock stopped and turned around, a look of annoyance clear on his face. He dares not hit a girl...but if she hit first…

She stopped in front of him, slightly out of “How could you possibly know all that?”

“I simply observed. Your textbook in your bag is old and used, so not the newest editions. You have your old team number stitched into your bag, but you don’t highlight you once played, that says the original circumstances of the injury were traumatic. Your phone. It’s expensive, e-mail enabled, MP3 player, but you’re looking for a way to fund uni– you wouldn’t waste money on this. It’s a gift, then. Scratches. Not one, many over time. It’s been in the same pocket as keys and coins. Next bit’s easy. You know it already. Harry Watson: a family member who’s given you his old phone. Not your father, this is a young man’s gadget.
Could be a cousin, but Unlikely you’ve got an extended family, certainly not one you’re close to, so brother it is. Now, Clara. Who’s Clara? She must have given it to him recently – this model’s only six months old. Relationship in trouble then – six months on he’s just given it away. If she’d left him, he would have kept it. People do – sentiment. But no, he wanted to be rid of it. He left her. He gave the phone to you: that says he wants you to stay in touch. You’re looking for a cheap way through uni, but you’re not going to your brother for help: that says you’ve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his girlfriend; maybe you don’t like his drinking.”

She stared at him, those deep blue eyes looking at him like he was the answer to the universe. Sherlock, starting to feel uneasy, started to turn away. That was until the doctor in training shocked him to his core.

“That was…amazing”.

Sherlock, ever the brilliant mind, had no idea how to reply. In all his years he was always the freak, always the arse for pointing out the obvious, but she thought he was brilliant?

“Do you think so?” was all his brain could muster up.

“Of course, it was!” She shook her head slightly like she couldn’t believe what she was looking at.

“Extraordinary, quite extraordinary,” said John. She gave him the brightest smile, and he felt something warm deep in his chest.

Sherlock gave her a small smile, one he rarely gave out.

“That’s not what people normally say.” He ducked his head, and for the first time felt shy.

“What do people normally say?”

“Piss Off.” Sherlock looked her in the eye and smirked, and John just let out a snort followed by the biggest laugh.

Sherlock smiled and quickly realized he would do anything to make her smile like that again. The thought scared him to his core.

“Dinner?” He asked. He realized his mouth spoke before his brain could catch up, but the smile that came from her face made that strange warmth reappear and he started to think he was headed for dangerous territory.

“I know a cute little Chinese place this way,” she said as she started to walk away.

“I can always predict the fortune cookies,” Sherlock said as he fell in strides with her,

“No, you can’t!” Sherlock looked sideways at her, this enigma that seems to have him grip on him in more ways than one.

“Almost can” he replied, which sent her into another set of giggles which he joined in this time around.

He never did find it necessary to visit Victor on his way home.

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

Mycroft’s sleek black car showed up at exactly 11 am, as promised, and Sherlock took great pride in making it wait over an hour to bring his bags down. He knew being late would cost him with his mother, but the slight satisfaction in watching his brother whither under his mother’s guilty eyes was well worth it.

His mother owns a small house in town, so she convinced him to stay the night with her to avoid the heavy traffic back into London. He was opposed to staying longer they needed, lord knows he might be missing out on an important cause, but his mother’s desperation over the phone made him quick to agree. He knows she is worried for him, and a short visit should put her off her destructive matchmaking for even a few more years.

The car pulled up in front of the small cottage-like home that his mother had bought shortly after his father passed. She claimed she wanted something quainter, but Sherlock knew she was not made for London like he was. She now lives closer to her longest Childhood friend, Mary Morstan, and the family that she now considered one of her own.

They often invited Mycroft and himself to events, but Violet was no fool to her sons’ behaviours. Sherlock was grateful his mother had better social skills them him, as she would usually form the lie before the word even reached him of the invite. Only once did he ever have the desire to return home, to share new happiness with his mother. But that feeling passed almost as quickly as it showed up.

As Sherlock is getting lost in his memory, the figure of Violet Holmes came bouncing down the front porch and wrapped her youngest in a bear-like hug before he even fully stepped out of the car.

“My boy, do you even eat anymore! You are almost as skinny as the last time I came to London!” Sherlock tensed, knowing what she was referring, and not wanting to get into that topic of conversation so early in the day.

“Oh, what does it matter!’” Sherlock snapped back. He looked down at his mother’s face, a mix of love and sadness clear on her strong features. He immediately felt guilty for his outburst.

“I…I’m sorry mummy. I’ve just been busy, is all.” Sherlock leans down and places a soft kiss on her cheek. He picks up his overnight bag, and she wraps her right arm around his left and lets out a little laugh while leading them inside.

“Scotland Yard would be at a loss without you, wouldn’t they?” Sherlock can’t help but glow with pride from her words as they enter the home.

“Yes, well they see but they do not observe” he mumbles, and he gives his mom the smallest smile as he drops his bag off in the front hall.

“Myke has been telling me about some of the cases you’ve solved, all sorts out weird folk in the world isn’t there?” Although Sherlock knows she means this kindly, he can hear the worry and distress in her voice at the idea of her little boy chasing criminals all over London.

“Yes, well I’m sure Mycroft overdramatizes them. He was always was one to cause drama, the twat.”

“Oh, Sherlock don’t tease your brother. He will be here later today in the hall and I will not stand for your bickering in my new home. This is the first time I’ve had both my sons under one roof since your father passed, and I will not have it be ruined by your petty fights!” Mrs. Holmes did not back down when in an argument, there is a reason the two brothers are so strong-willed, and it does not come from their father.

“I tease him? Me?!” Mrs. Holmes gave him the stern look that said it was not up for negotiation, and Sherlock rolled his eyes and nodded his head. If he was going to spend the weekend around boring idiots, he may as well keep one person on his side.

Chapter Text

April 2012

 

Sherlock was always alone, it was something he had grown used to. So, when John Watson came sauntering into his life, he couldn’t remember a time before her contagious laughter. She simply felt like home.

They had become thick as thieves in the months since they met at the public library across town. John was having a gap year and was in town staying with her aunt, but spent almost all of her time with Sherlock encouraging him to feed his “transport”.

He normally hated company, but hers was calming and kept him grounded. They spend their days running all over London, either trying to sneak into a crime scene Sherlock has a suspicion about, or from the angry older men Sherlock deduced loudly in public. Either way, it was incredible.

John was not an idiot, in fact, she was everything but, and it caused Sherlock’s cold heart to warm whenever she was near. He knew what he felt for her was far beyond the normal levels of friendship, but was a smart enough man to know a woman of her calibre would never feel the same.

He was deep in his mind palace when he realized he was being spoken to.

“Don’t you ever attend class,” John was looking up from her book for the first time since arriving that afternoon. She had come straight from her aunts’ shop, where she was working. They were both tired, but they enjoyed the comfortable silence. She gave him the same smile that she gives him whenever she finds him does something absurdly normal, like washing his dishes.

Sherlock just rolled his eyes at her and gave the same response he provides weekly
“Dull. Why should I waste my time attending pointless lectures? The term is practically over anyway.”

Sherlock's flat was not large, the small sofa barely squeezed into the living room. They each sat at an end, yet there were barely a few inches between them. Sherlock got up and moved his textbooks from the coffee table into the even smaller kitchen, where his extensive collection of experiments was spread.

“Should we get takeaway for dinner? I’m Thinking Chinese.” Sherlock made a small sound of approval, and John took that as a go-ahead to order from their favourite little shop down the street. She knew his order by heart and made sure to order enough for leftover the next few days. Sometimes she wonders how the lanky git ate before she was even around, she swears he believes the tea just magically appears half the time.

A while later, the doorbell rang, so Sherlock got up to grab it and pay. They tried to take turns, but Sherlock pointed out early on he had more to spare so often made the payment.

John got up to use the washroom and as she reached the door she notices something unusual in the flat; Sherlock's bedroom door was open.

In all the time they had been friends, Sherlock was always weird about his room. It was an untouched space he never ventured into, and John knew better to ask. She knew Sherlock has a dark past he never talked about, the dark moods were clear enough to that. What she did not know was how deep it really went.

For the first time ever, the door to his room was open. John couldn’t help the curiosity that came over her and pushed it ajar slightly more to get a better view inside. It was small, and unlike the rest of the house, it was spotless. She knew she didn’t have long, but something gold under his bed caught her eye. She stepped in and leaned down to get a better look.

John pulled out the dusty box and looked it over before lifting off the lid. Her stomach dropped as she analyzed the contents in her hands. Did this belong to Sherlock? Was he ever going to tell her?

She heard him coming up the stairs and walked back into the living room with the small box still in her grip.

He walked back in with a small smile playing on his lips, but it instantly vanished and his face went stone cold as he noticed what was in her hands.

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

The hall was nothing short of extravagant, people would so lucky to consider and an event like this for a wedding, let alone an engagement party.

When they got out of the car they walked into the venue, and in the main hall there stood a giant sign of ‘MARTIN AND JOAN ENGAGEMENT PARTY’.

Violet snorted “in case we weren’t sure why we were here” she gave Sherlock one of her classic side smirks, and he couldn’t help the smile that twitched on his lip.

The hall itself was covered in fairy lights and filled with tables of people's food and booze. People stood all over, mostly chatting away with familiar comfort.

“I hear the bride has no family, so Mary must’ve gone all out on her side. Her son, Martin is the one being married, if the sign wasn’t clear. Apparently, she works at the clinic and he had gone in with a banged-up knee.” His mum leaned into him so he was the only one to hear their conversation. As little as he cared, he knew his mother had a secret love of gossip so he decides to humour her.

“Or it was a prostitute he overpaid and needed an extra favour” Sherlock smirked down at his mother who gave him the most scandalized and yet amused look.

“Hush you! You might start a rumour if we aren’t careful. Besides, I’ve met the young women, she seems quite smitten.” Sherlock only rolled his eyes to her comment, he has solved enough crimes to know some people are just good actors.

Violet led them to a table at the back and gestured to Sherlock to take a chair.

“Why don’t you take a seat, and I will go make my rounds of hellos. Saves you from making anyone cry” she winked at him as she walked away.

His mother wasn’t a perfect person, but he was grateful she never made him be more then he was. He sat in silence, simply observing the people in the crowd. Most seem harmless, a few tax frauds and thefts but relatively dull people. That is until the pompous prick sat beside him.

“Ah, brother dear. I see mother never convinced you into the tie”

Sherlock looks at his arse of a brother and rolls his eyes as dramatically as possible.

“Yes, well some of don’t need the extra layers to hide our fat. Putting on weight again? Impressive in only four days”

“Losing it, in fact,” Sherlock gave Mycroft a knowing look, and he simply lifted his head as if to welcome the battle of wits. Thankful they were interrupted.

“Mycroft, love, you made it!” Violet kissed her eldest son on the cheek who looks as though he would rather be anywhere but here.

“Yes, well I did make a promise.” Just as Violet was going to express her joy, Mycroft’s phone rang and he excused himself from the room.

Violet let out a sound of disappointment but was not going to let one call ruin her night,

“Sherlock dear, come meet the bride to be!” Sherlock's mother dragged him by the arm and pointed to a group of women standing by the bar.

He didn’t need to meet the bride, he has seen many women who marry boring men for their money, she won’t be any different. They walk through the hall of people that Sherlock has no desire to speak with and go right towards them. Four older women are facing him and are dressed like they are 20 years younger, faces caked on with the too dark foundation.  Two are facing the other way, but it doesn’t take a genius to know they look the exact same. As they reach the group he realized there is one other woman with her back to him, shorter than the rest and dressed more appropriately for her age. She reminds him of someone he used to know, but he shook that idea quickly from his mind and followed his mother towards the group.

“Ladies! Look who finally joined me! This is one of my son's, Sherlock.”

All the women turned to look at him with curious eyes, including the short woman with sandy blond hair.

Sherlock's mouth drops open, and his silver eyes lock onto blue.

“Sherlock, this is Martins's future bride!”

Standing in front of him was none other than John Bloody Watson.

Chapter Text

April 2012 Continued

 

She heard him coming up the stairs and walked back into the living room with the small box still in her grip.

He walked back in with a small smile playing on his lips, but it instantly vanished and his face went stone cold as he noticed what was in her hands.

 

John looked him square in the eyes and calmly asked “Sherlock, what is this.”

“You went into my room” he said blankly, his eyes never left the box. His features masked, but his silver eyes fuming.

“I…well yes the door was open”, John did feel guilty, but her concern as a doctor won over his respect for privacy.

Sherlock walked up to her and snatched the box from her hands, covering it with his own. The glare he gave her could burn walls.

“Do I have no privacy in my own home?” 

“No, Sherlock I…”

“If I wanted you to search my flat I’d call on Lestrade to do another bloody drug bust!” Sherlock stormed over to the cabinet and put the box out of John’s reach.

“Another?!”

“For God sake John, I don’t need you to spare me your pity. You aren’t even a doctor, so what does it matter!” Sherlock knew his words burned by the look of pure shock on John’s features, which quickly morphed into anger.

“Yes, THANK YOU, you giant wanker. I’m fully aware of where I stand on my own lack of education.” John was breathing hard and could barely stop herself from whacking him across his head to get some sense in the giant git.

“I care because you are my friend. I CARE because I don’t want to see your massive intellect go to waste. I’ve seen addiction in my family, and watching the people I love crumble from it is not something I ever plan on experiencing again”

Sherlock was staring blankly at her, and it took John a moment to process the words she just spilled out in anger. She always held her heart close to her chest, she always kept her emotions in check but something about Sherlock just made her speak before she thinks.

“Shit. Sherlock…I mean…” John was lost for words. She knew how she felt, but she knew Sherlock would never ever feel the same.

John couldn’t look at Sherlock, couldn’t face the rejection that was bound to escape his lips. She was ready to duck and hide, but her years of standing up to her military father kept her standing in place.

“You love me?” Sherlock blurted. His face clearly stated he didn’t mean to say that out loud, and suddenly he looked so young standing in front of her. John always assumed love was not his area, clearly, she was right.

Sherlock wasn’t moving, and she still couldn’t come to look at him, but she realized if she wanted to save even the last bit of their friendship she was going to have to be honest. Her dark blue eyes met his silver, and she realized she couldn’t lie even if she wanted to. His eyes searched her face desperately for any form of a lie, but John knew her face spoke wonders of her heart.

“I…yes” John spoke barely above a whisper.

Sherlock approached her slowly, eyes never leaving hers. His dropped the food on the table, and his hands came up tentatively to cradle her face. His eyes glance down to her lips and John couldn't help licking her lips when he did, a habit she formed out of nervousness. He leaned down slowly, giving her enough time to back out, but John simply reached up to meet him halfway.

The kiss started out chase, his lips were soft and the small stubble that had formed from the day was rough against her chin. John turned her head slightly to fix the angle, and Sherlock let out a sound from the back of his throat.

Suddenly the kiss was hungry, months of want and desire building up to one moment. Sherlock grabbed jobs hips and push John against the wall behind her while starting to slowly kiss down her neck. One of John's hands went to his hip, and the other landed in the curls at the base of his neck

John pulled away slightly to get her mind focusing straight “Sherlock…. wait. We should talk about this”

He pulled back and looked at her, pupils blown and clear of want. He kissed her again, twice, and a third time and pulled back once more. “After, John” he growled, she gave him a doubtful look but he leaned his forehead against hers with his eyes close. “I promise”, he mumbled, and she let herself believe him because truthfully, she didn’t have the will power to stop.

She reached up to kiss him again, and he returned it feverishly. With one swift movement, he lifted her up, and she wrapped his legs around his thin torso. Her arms went around his neck, and her lips never left his jaw. He let her down on the bed, and stepped back to look her over with hungry eyes.

They move up the bed together until John is sitting against the headboard, she then flips them over so she is hovering over Sherlock.

“God you are breathtaking”, she didn't even realize she has said it outload until pink blush blooms on Sherlocks normally porcelain skin.

He gives her the brightest smile, the one only ever shared with John, and she can’t help leaning down to kiss him, more tenderly this time. It quickly changed when one of Sherlocks hand sneak under her shirt and pulls up.

“Off. Take it all off.” He gestures to her, while unbuttoning his dress shirt.

Normally John hates being told what to do, but something about the way Sherlock does It make the arousal deep within her grow.

 

---

 

When John woke up it was because she thought she was going to overheat to death. Her limbs were being held down, and her mouth was covered by a head of messy curls, which she couldn’t resist combing her fingers through. Sherlock was wrapped around her like an octopus, and she honestly couldn’t say she minded. If this is how she spend every morning for the rest of her live, she would be okay with that.

John thought about the past few months, and the lingering stares between the two of them and can’t believe she had missed all of the clear signs. Sherlock is not like anyone she’s ever met, so why would romance be any different? She knew during the first chase through London that she was falling madly, and quickly for the tall man, but nothing prepared her for the impact he would share on her life. He waits for her around the corners during the chases, he buys her particular brand of tea from Tesco, and even keeps his sink clear of experiments since she found the cockroach. It’s not normal flirting, but for Sherlock it’s the same as a big romantic gesture.

The remainder of what they did the night before came back to her, and she couldn’t help but blush. She couldn’t believe she was in bed. with Sherlock. her mad best friend. She couldn’t help but let out a small giggle at the obscurity of the situation, which woke a certain genius.

“Should I be offended you are giggling from the reminder of our fantastic shag” He lifted himself to look her in the eyes, “Or perhaps I should find other ways to remind you” he smirked at her with tired half assed glare.

John's giggles turned into full blown laughter that Sherlock eventually joined in on. He quickly silenced her by covering her mouth with his, and had a rather larger reminder they were both fully naked.

There kissed turned into lazy pecks and Sherlock lifted himself to look her in the eyes once more. His gaze softened and the emotions in his eyes were of pure open love that John let out the softest gasp.

“John…I” Sherlock, the man to always have something to say was lost for words.

John rested her palm on his cheek and kissed him softly on the lips “I know, love. It's ok, I know”

Sherlock's heart was going to burst from his chest, and he needed to just say it, he needed her to know how much she mattered. He closed his eyes and said the words that have been threatening to escape him for months.

“I..I am not good at this” Sherlock whispered, and he felt Johns thumb gently caress his cheek.

He opened his eyes and looked at her dark blue ones staring at him, and he’s never felt so much like he belonged.

“John, I am a ridiculous man. You understand me in ways in never thought possible and you don’t try to change me into something I’m not. You are home to me John, and for that I will always love you.”

Johns smile was so bright she thought she might burst. How anyone could call this man a sociopath is beyond her. He might not be an easy many to understand, but he was trying for John. She couldn’t handle it anymore and pulled him down by the neck for a sloppy wet kiss that turned into another few hours in bed.

Once they were finally up and out of bed, John made coffee and Sherlock finished up his final paper.

She looked over to the tall man across the room, and thought, not for the first time, how she wouldn’t mind spending the rest of her life living with this crazy git.

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

Standing in front of him was John Bloody Watson.

“Sherlock?” John looked at him like he was raised from the dead. Her blue dark blue eyes speaking wonders about her shock, her face though was almost blank. Years in the army said a voice in the back of his head.

John was wearing a navy blue wrap dress that fell just above her knee, with three quarter length sleeves. Her hair was half woven into a bun at the back of her head, the rest fell just below her shoulder in a soft curl. 

Sherlock's breath was caught in his throat, and his heart was pounding but he put on his best polite smile and swore to himself he would not let her get to him “Hello, John.”

But his mother is after all a Holmes. “Oh, you’ve met?”

“We knew each other during uni” John replied, eyes still never having left Sherlocks. Sherlock looked to his mother, she gave him a knowing smile. The others around them, not even aware of the reunion of lost love.

“Yes,” he replied then looked back to John, “Only briefly” he replied coldly, and he saw a brief flash of guilt in her eyes and felt somewhat prideful until one of the idiot older women spoke up.

“Why do you call her John?” Sometimes sherlock wondered how idiots were alive.

“That’s her name” “that’s my name,” they say at the same time.  A pause and they share a look then broke into laughter, a small reminder of what once was. Sherlock looked at her smiling eyes, slightly older than the last time he saw her. At that moment he realized he needed air and was ready to walk away when Mary Moriston came sauntering over.

“My little Sherlock Holmes is that you? How you’ve grown! I haven’t seen you since you were playing pirate in my back yard!” Sherlock snarled at her and gave her is the iciest stare, while John couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her. Mary has been around Holmes’s enough not to be faced by their glares.

“Violet, where is your other son?! We MUST reunite the boys!” She looked to her best friend with hope, but Violet simply shook her head.

“Oh, my Mycroft is a busy boy, he is just on the phone outside. It shouldn’t be too much longer!"

Mary gave Violet a look that shows she knows more than people give her credit for. Sherlock was momentarily impressed until the small group in the corner was slowly becoming the hub of the party as Martin made his way over.

“’ Lock is that you? My lord, you’ve turned into a tree! I read about one of your cases in the paper last week, quite impressive. You should explain it to me later” he stood next to John and threw his arm around her shoulder, and kiss to the side of her head. John looked guilty and she would rather be anyplace but here. Sherlock couldn't stand to watch this any longer

“Nothing to explain Martin, any idiot could’ve solved it”

“Are you a cop?” one of the women in a dress two sizes too small asked him. Normally Sherlock would rip every one of them apart until they were on the verge of tears, but with his mother to his right and John…John…in front of him, he thought not.

“I work with Scotland yard. When the police are out of their depths, which is always, they consult me” he said, purposefully avoiding one small part of work.

“Yes!” Martin piped in “the Consulting Detective, I read that in the paper!” Sherlock glares at the back of Martin's head as he is explaining to the other open of the group. Johns is looking at Sherlock with that look of wonder, the one he has imagined in his head for the past seven years, the same one she made when he gave her…the exact necklace she had on. Interesting.

Sherlock clears his throat, suddenly uncomfortable with the current exchange. “Yes, well local papers aren’t great for business. Nice to see you all.”

Sherlock was half turned away when John suddenly grabbed his arm,

“Sherlock, Wait!” He turned back retort back on his tongue but the moment he looked into her eyes he realized he would agree to anything she asked. This hold this woman has on him was astounding.

“Stay a little longer?” there was a look of desperation in her eyes, and he could see his mother over her shoulder talking to one of the older ladies, but focus on him. He wasn’t doing this for John, it was for his mother. He kept telling himself that.

“Alright” he replied, and he made his way over the bar. He was far too sober to be here without substance.

 

An hour later he was two whiskeys in, not enough to forget this night ever happened, but enough that he doesn’t want to completely jump off the balcony.

He heard a commotion coming from the back of the hall, and he told himself it was the inner detective exploring. When he got back there he found Martin in a chair with ice on his ankle, and John the Doctor inspecting the injury.

“It’s a sprain Martin, you won’t be able to dance” John looked disappointedly at her future husband. Honestly part of her was glad not to have to do the damn thing, it was Martin's idea, to begin with.

“Dammit Joan, we’ve been practicing months we can’t just not do it now, SOMEone here must be able to do the last-minute waltz”

Sherlock was lingering behind the crowd of people watching the exchange quietly until he noticed his mother opening her mouth to say “oh my Sherlock can dance! Years of being a private school trained him well. I’m sure he would be happy to help, plus you are old friend John so it won’t be a total stranger.”

Any other time and Sherlock would’ve laughed at the pure horror on John's face, except right now his was a mirror image.

“Mrs. Holmes that’s sweet, but...”

“No, Joan she’s right. Everyone was expecting it, we will just promise a better one at the wedding!” He leaned over to kiss her cheek, and she realized she didn’t have much of a case in the battle. How do you tell your future husband you can’t dance with his childhood friend because he is the love of her life? WAS. Not is. Was, in the past. The fluttering in her stomach when she saw him was just nerves. The bloody git dared to get even more gorgeous with time.

Violet went over to where Sherlock was standing and gave him the look that once made him want to crumble as a child, not simply made him roll his eyes.

“What do you say, love? Save the more bride of a partner less dance?” There was an evil glint in her eye, and Sherlock was slightly afraid of whatever she had planned in that mad brain of hers.

Sherlock looked up at John and saw the same fear cross her eyes. What he did not expect was for her to smile and say “well, Sherlock. What do you say?” After all, John always did surprise him. He was terrified of controlling himself around her, but if she was going to do it why would he be the one to back down. 

“Lead the way, Doctor Watson” Sherlock smirked as she rolled her eyes and walked over to grab his hand.

Chapter Text

August 2012

 

Sherlock was outside the restaurant, waiting for John. They had planned to meet up after her shift, but for the first time in his life, Sherlock was nervous. It was John's birthday and he had done extensive research on what a partner might do for the special day. He knew John was not the overly romantic type, one of the reasons he loved her so much, but he wanted her to know the affection was shared. Sherlock was not an emotional man, and had only ever said the three words once – the morning he first told her. He didn’t think it bothered John, but he wanted her to know how much she mattered to him.

They were young, John still had years of training left, so Sherlock knew the gift in his pocket was simply a promise of their future together. The box was a heavyweight in his jacket, and he hoped John understood the importance of it.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw John jogging towards him. He thought it would fade with time, but eight months of friendship (4 of those shagging) later and he still got a flutter whenever she smiled at him. They still had the same relationship as before, except now he can devour her whenever he wants – which is almost always.

John finally caught up to him and reached up to leave a chase kiss on his lips. She lingered a little longer than normal, and Sherlock couldn’t help putting his hand on her waist. ‘The things this woman does to me’ he thought.

She pulled away and smiled up at him, but he noticed her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Ready?” John said and pulled his hand inside before he had a chance to reply. Sherlock knew she was hiding something, but he would let her share in her own time. If he had learned anything about John is you cannot push her before she is ready, or she will simply shut down.

They took a seat in the back, a private corner where no one will really notice them. They sat side by side, their faces mostly lit by candlelight.

“This is a lovely restaurant” John gave him a smile and Sherlock couldn’t help but return it, nervousness peeking through,

“Yes well, social standards state a boyfriend should take his partner to a nice resultant on a special occasion, and since today is your birthday it seemed perfectly fitting” Sherlock spoke quickly, a slight blush on his cheeks.

John simply took his hand and squeezed. She and Sherlock shared a look, and her eyes spoke wonder. He relaxed a bit then and took up the task of ordering their food. Once the water disappeared John told Sherlock all about her day at her aunt's store and the tedious customers who come in. Not for the first time, Sherlock wondered where their future headed, as John was bound to want to finish school eventually.

By desert, he had rattled off deductions for the whole restaurant and John was red from laughter and just a little bit of wine. Sherlock was feeling relaxed from the alcohol and decided he might just be brave enough to finally take out the box.

She was watching the couple across the room interact on what was clearly their first date when Sherlock places the box lightly in front of her. John looked at it, and then at him. He nodded his head and she looked at the box with awe and curiosity before she picked it up to inspect it further. When she opened it, inside was a simple gold heart pendant on a thin gold chain. The necklace was small, and yet the most beautiful thing shed ever seen. She looked up to Sherlock who watching was her expectantly “Sherlock…I..” she looked down at the gift again to fully grasp its beauty, and when she locked eyes with Sherlock again her breath caught in her throat.

“Happy birthday, John.” He was giving her his most sincere smile, and such a look of pure happiness that she wanted to weep.

She leaned over and kissed him passionately, more then she would ever be okay within public if it wasn’t for the wine. When she leaned back, he gave her the sweetest smile that made her heart flutter even further.

“Sherlock…this food is amazing, but I need you to get me home as soon as possible so I can thank you properly”. Sherlocks stood up so fast the water glass fell to the group. John couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her and quickly called over the waiter so they could make their way home.

The glint of pride in Sherlock's eye didn’t fade until him and John were in his bed, covered in sweat – John wearing the gold pendant.

“Never take it off” Sherlock whispered into her hair, hours later and near sleep. She hummed, and even though it wasn’t a question, she replied anyways.

“Never."

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

John had spent many years in the army keeping herself busy so she could forget a certain pair of silver eyes, yet here they are in front of her standing tall and cocky in that bloody suit. The man not only aged like fine wine, he somehow got posher over time.

She only agreed to dance because she knew if she didn’t, Martin would pester her to know why, and she was not quite ready for that conversation.

He was quite a persistent man, and often had too many facts that made sense to even bother debating. Martin was the perfect reliable partner if there ever was one. He never had alternatives reasons for being nice, like hiding toes in the fridge, or went running after a mad criminal at 4 in the morning. Some might call it boring, but it’s exactly what John needed when she was discharged from the army.  

Sherlock's eyes were full of mirth when he said “Lead the way, Doctor Watson.” She knew he was humouring her, but she couldn’t help the butterflies she got when he said yes.

She walked over to him and gave one of her best John Watson smiles, his eyes roamed all over the face reading her like an open book. She had gotten good overtime at hiding her face, but her eyes were always a dead give-away. Sherlock’s palm was open in front of him, and she grabbed it before her fear took over.

As soon as their hands touched, warmth took over her and she suddenly felt 7 years younger and full of hope. Sherlock led them into the main hall, as an announcer to let people know the change of events due to the fallen groom. They moved to the middle of the dance floor and Sherlock turned until they were facing face to face, his left hand on her waist, and the right still holding her hand. John moved her left hand to his shoulder and waited for the music to start, all the while holding her breath.

Sherlock had tried to teach her how to dance the few times he was bored, but it usually ended with fewer clothes, them lying on the floor, and their libs intertwined.

When the song began, Sherlock immediately took the lead floating them across the floor. She missed this; the silent communication and understanding that floated between them.

The song was not fast, but the quietness between them was becoming uncomfortable.

“So,” John said first, Sherlock merely looked at her and replied with a blank “So.”

“How have you been?” Sherlock scoffed at her question, eyes focused behind her.

“You’ve never liked small talk John, why start now.” John let out a small laugh at his bluntness, she never was one to hide his thoughts.

“Since when do they call you Joan,” he asked, after a small spin.

“Oh that…It started as a joke. We met at the hospital, and he misheard my name and…it sorts of just stuck”. Sherlock looked at her then, his eyebrows raised, and his eyes giving her that look that says he knows she’s lying. He knows she always hated when people got her name wrong, but with Martin, she never felt like she needed to fix it, and no point in starting now.

“Since when do you attend family affairs. I’ve never known you to care about weddings.” Sherlock's lip twitched, and she realized he knew she was deflecting.

Thankfully he didn’t say anything, he just looked past her again and said “Mother rarely demands I attend things, she knows it’s a waste. She’s been…worried these days. So, she asked me to come with her. I also assume its Mycroft’s plan to keep an eye on me.”

“What was she worried about?”

John looked at him, and although Sherlock knew she cared, he also knew he would never tell her the truth.

“Cases are more dangerous, she simply wants to see me settle down out of the limelight”

John laughed, and shook her head “We both know even if you did settle down, you’d find any minor danger and run right into it screaming ‘THE GAME IS ON’.” Sherlock laughed, and John joined in. The sound-making Sherlocks heart flutter and break at the same time.

Their laughs faded out and when John looked up, Sherlock was looking at her like she was an experiment. Looking for signs of something John has buried deep for a long time, signs of something more. John looked away and noticed there was a small crowd watching them move across the floor.

“Sherlock, I…” John looked at him again, really looked at him. He raised his eyebrows, and she saw the slight flash of hope in his eyes and wanted to tell him everything. I wanted to tell him how much she missed him, how much she wishes things were different and mostly how much she wishes she had never let him go. She opened her mouth, only to realize the song was over.

They stopped moving, and Sherlock took a step back to give space between them. John looked at him like she wanted to say something, but before she could Sherlock turned and escaped into the crowd of people watching. Thankfully for John, the Morstan clan was not observant enough to notice her heart sinking in her chest.  

She had lost Sherlock one too many times, and tonight was not going to be another. She thanked the people around her and set off to search for the tall lanky git. 

She looked all over the hall, and made it outside the loo, ready to give up. She figured Sherlock took a cab and ran off, as he always does. She was lost in her head causing her to accidentally run into a tall man in an expensive suit.

"Oh shit, sorry." John took a step back balancing herself on his arm. 

"Why hello John, so glad to finally meet you". 

John looked up into a familiar pair of silver eyes, except these belonged to a rounder man with red hair.

"Have we met?" John has thought she had been introduced to the whole clan already, 

"Not quite, I'm afraid. The name is Mycroft."

"Mycroft?! You're Sherlock brother?" Mycroft simply raised an eyebrow at her.

"I see my reputation proceeds me" 

"Yes well, you know how your brother is. Always a fan of the dramatics." This comment cause both brows to raise, and a humoured smirk to appear on his lips

"hmm, yes. You know him well then?" as he speaks to her, John gets the idea he knows more then he is letting on.

"Yes, uh we went to uni together"

"interesting, since my brother did not attend Barts and you are a few years his senors"

John just stared at the man, although she knew the Holmes had a gift for the deduction, she was not prepared for the tall man to read her so well.

"well..I..I mean we..."

"he's on the balcony." 

Johns's mouth fell open and could've believed what she was hearing. He was still here. 

"The balcony?"

Mycroft simply gave her a cold smile before he walked away.

The balcony. How could she forget the damn balcony?

She walked out in the cold November air, and there he was leaning against the rail, cigarette in hand. His figure was lit by the glow of the party inside, and at this angle, he looked practically angelic. 

John had spent hears dreaming about the day she might see him again, wondering what he could be up to now. When she got shot all she could think about was how she wishes she had one last goodbye, one last look at his glorious face. She had many things ready to say, many questions ready to ask, but before she even realized what she was saying, the words had left her lips.

"Why did you leave?"

John didn't mean to sound so forward, but seven years of wondering has led her to this moment.

Sherlock took one last puff of his cigarette and turned towards her. 

"The song was over, no reason to linger." He didn't look at her, simply fixed the cuffs of his levels. 

John takes a step forward, and into Sherlock's eye line. Her blue eyes are dark and full of questions peering into his. 

"I don't mean now, Sherlock."

Sherlock lifts his chin, Adam's apple bobbing and eyes lever leaving hers. 

John stepped close enough she could smell his cologne, expensive but the same after all these years. His eyes were desperate and flickering in between hers. When John spoke again, it was barely above a whisper. 

"Why did you leave?"

 

Chapter Text

August 2012

 

A few days after her birthday, John’s aunt had them over for dinner.  Sherlock rarely visited her family, not because he didn’t want to but because John was private that way. He had met her aunt a few times in her shop, but when she invited them over for a birthday dinner, John insisted he joined. Something about ‘time to meet the families.’

When they arrived, she gave him the biggest hug and made sure to tell him as many of John's embarrassing stories she could think of. She reminded him of a much plumper Mary Poppins – sturdy but kind, much like John. During dinner, the conversation had been mostly about the shop, until John’s aunt turned to Sherlock.

“Tell me, Sherlock, where did you attend uni?”

“well, I...” Sherlock started but John grabbed his hand and cut him off.

“He graduated in May” she smiled sheepishly at her aunt, who looked to Sherlock and continued as if it was him who replied.

“Is that so? Have you found work since graduation?” Sherlocked opened his mouth, but once again John cut him off.

“He is working with Scotland Yard to help solve crimes! I keep suggesting he start his own private investigative business and call himself a Consulting Detective, but he just rolls his eyes” as if on cue, Sherlock rolls his eyes at her statement, and John simply smiles at him. 

Aunt Marge gave John a look of amusement and said “is the man not capable of speaking for himself?” 

“…No…wait, Yes! I don’t know, I’m sorry. I’m just nervous, auntie. You are some of the only family I have left, and I want you to love him like I do” Sherlock looked at John with the purest eyes, a look rarely seen outside the flat. She looked at him and then back to his aunt who was watching the whole interaction.

Her aunt simply smiled and sighed “John, your happiness is most important to me. If you are happy, then so am I! Since that letter came I’ve been over the moon for you, dear!”

John tensed beside Sherlock, and Aunt Marge realized quickly she may have opened a bag of worms.

“Uh, the one for...uh...my shop! Ah! Yes, I have gotten a new grant”. Sherlock eyed her aunt suspiciously, and he looked to John and waited for her to explain. She knew as well as he did that was a lie.

“Oh yeah, we applied back in April. Finally, came through!”  John said with any lack of truth behind it. John did not look up from her plate and just moved the food around without eating for the rest of the meal.  Her hand was fiddling with the necklace, a nervous habit she started as soon as she put it on.  and

Sherlock is anything but an idiot, he knew she was hiding something. Dinner ended shortly after, Aunt Marge not a fool to a couple's quarrel.

The ride back to Sherlock's flat was a tense one. Before the cab even stopped, Sherlock threw himself onto the pavement.

“Sherlock would you slow down!”

Sherlock turned around so fast John practically ran into him. He was breathing hard and his eyes were like stone. He looked at her for a long time before he finally spoke.

“What was the letter for, John. Don’t even try to lie to me, you know I can tell.” Sherlock was seething. He knew since the birthday dinner something was off, but he was too blinded to notice. Love really is a dangerous disadvantage.

“Sherlock please, let’s just go inside and talk” John tried to gesture to move but Sherlock was like a wall. A tall stubborn lanky wall that would not move until John told him the truth.

John couldn’t meet his eyes, his hard stare that knew everything just from a look. She knew when she applied four months ago this moment would come, she had hoped she could explain herself and make him understand. Except at that time, they were nothing more than friends, and she thought getting away would help her move on from him. She knows she should have warned him, and she knows the day she found out she should’ve let him know. But nowhere they are, four weeks until she’s shipped out, and he has no idea she’s about to ruin him. 

“I…I’ve enlisted.” She didn’t look up, but she heard him let out a shaky breath and heard his breath quickened.

When he spoke, it was so quiet she wasn’t even sure she heard him

“When.” John looked up then because the voice that came out of him sounded so much like a young boy and not the confident man shed grown to love. She looked at him and noticed the cold mask he always has on was slowing breaking

“September 24th” she whispered back. Sherlock stared at her and without another word turned and ran into his flat.

John was left on the pavement, not knowing where to go. Technically she didn’t live with Sherlock, but she stayed there most nights. Sherlock was home, and she’s worried she might have lost him forever.

John's head is spinning and needs to clear it before she goes back in to speak to Sherlock. She knows she makes stupid decisions under anger and wants to be sure they talk this through. This is something she’s always wanted and something she needs to become the doctor she’s always dreamed to be.

While John is wandering all over town, Sherlock decided he has had enough. His mind is spinning and if he’s going to lose John to war, then he may as well numb his mind to the pain. Although he a genius, he’s never been one to think of the consequences. He goes into his closet, where he stashed the gold box and brings it onto the bed to empty its content.

---

John considered herself a calm person, however, there is one thing she has never had around Sherlock, and that is self-control.

She hadn’t gone back after her walk, she wanted to allow both of them to have time to process what it all meant for their future together. John was willing to take the risk, but she wasn’t sure he was.  She decided to return after work the next day so they could discuss what this meant for them.

When she got back to Sherlock's flat, she knocked a few times to let him know she was there but got no answer. She thought he might not be home until she noticed it was unlocked and so she opened the door and let herself in. The first thing she noticed is the main room was shockingly clean, unlike the last time she was here. Had he cleaned it himself? She passed the kitchen and went into his bedroom to see if maybe he had passed out from staying up all night overthinking.

John considered herself a calm person, after all, she was going off to war.  But when she walked into the bedroom and found Sherlock sitting against his bed, needle in his arm, she lost all sense of control.

“Oh hello, John.” Sherlock looked at her with an innocent smile, and dark glazed eyes she never thought she would see from him.

“Sherlock what the fuck are you doing?!” she stared at the younger man and couldn’t believe her eyes. She walked over to grab the needle from his hand and noticed something glisten beside him - the gold box. The one that started this relationship, is the same one that was going to destroy it.

John looked at Sherlock's face, it looked peaceful and clear of thought, only John knew the cause and it made her stomach coil. “You said It was gone, you told me the box was gone”. Sherlock gave her a confused look until the pushed the box into his face and he took it like a child being offered a new toy.

A month or so after they finally got together, John remembers the gold box that she found under his bed. Sherlock simply brushed her off and said it was from a case and he had tossed it. John knew it wasn’t all true, she noticed the marks on his arm, but she trusted him not to bring it up again. 

“John! I am sooooo glad to see you.  Isn’t this box lovely? It was a gift from Victor to hide it from mummy.” Sherlock was examining the box as if he had never seen it before.

“what…who is Victor? Don’t answer that”

“Victor is my dealer, John. I thought that was obvious from the box, and the needle and the...”

 “DAMMIT SHERLOCK” Sherlock recoiled from her yell but opened his mouth to continue his defence.

“Stop it. Just stop.” John gave Sherlock a look of pure disbelief and sadness. Sherlock looked at her, and finally noticed her level of distress.

“What?”

John could believe her eyes and shook her head at him. “Is this a joke to you? Am I joke to you?” Sherlock just scoffed and got up more gracefully then anyone under a lethal injection should be.

“Oh please, like my state of being is any concern to you, doctor. Don’t you have a damsel to save?” Sherlock stood in front of her, and his silver eyes were regaining some of their focus again.

“for the love of god Sherlock, I can’t watch you like this, I can’t...”

“then DON’T!” Sherlock's face was close enough to hers that she can feel his breath and he was seething.

“No one asked you to be my watcher, John. I’m perfectly capable of being on my own, and I don’t need YOU to protect me like some guardian angel. This is who I am John, a sociopath who gets high and solves crimes. If you don’t like that then LEAVE.” Sherlock lifts his head and looks down his nose at John.  “As I recall from last night, you’ve already made that choice though, haven’t you?”

John shook her head because she knows he’s just angry, she knows he’s hurt

“Sherlock, this isn’t you.” She tried to put her hand on his arm, but he pulled it away as if she burnt him. He noticed the hurt on her face but couldn’t be bothered by it.

“You have no idea who I am, John. You have no idea what it’s like surrounding yourself by so much stupid.” 

John took a step back from his words, she couldn’t help the hurt that took over her. Sherlock wasn’t done, he knew he would hurt her, but the drugs numbed his emotions enough that he felt no remorse.

“A failed doctor whose only way of redemption is to serve the queen and country? No more alcoholic parents to take care of, so got to find some other fucked people to have a true purpose? Hmm? Can’t save them all so you just move on…” Sherlock had backed her up until they were in the living room.

“Enough!” John didn’t yell, but she spoke loud enough that Sherlock stopped in his spot and just looked at her. His face a mix of hurt, heartbreak and anger. Logically she knew he didn’t mean it, but John was never one to stand down from a bully.

They were staring at each other breathing hard, the tension in the room strong enough it could be cut with a knife.

John spoke first, her voice was dangerously low.  “You have no right to make me feel bad for this choice, and you have NO RIGHT to hide this” she lifted the needle that was still in her hand “from me” she went into the kitchen and tossed it in the trash. She kept her back to him and leaned against the counter for support before she crumbled before him. She stayed where she was, head hanging between her shoulder, and spoke softly “we were supposed to be a bloody team, you and I. Just the two of us against the rest of the world.” she let out a small emotionless laugh, and slowly turned to look at Sherlock again. “But the choice to keep that box was yours, and yours alone.” She walked towards the taller man, and carefully grabbed his hand, this time he let her. “I cannot sit here and watch you destroy yourself. I’ve seen enough people fall from addiction, and I will not watch it happen to you.”

Sherlock looked at her for a long time, in his mind, he has already made his choice. He knew he wasn’t a strong enough man to have her for only three months of the year. He was selfish, but he knew she needed someone great, and it wasn’t him.

Sherlock leaned down and gave John the softest of kisses, one normally saved for morning hello’s or sweet thanks, but today it was Sherlock's goodbye.

Johns pulled back to look into Sherlock's eyes, but he kept his closed because his lack of control would give him all away. He leaned his forehead against hers just to breath her in one last time. Things would need to change, and he needed to be sure of it.

When he did finally open his eyes, John was looking at him curiously. It didn’t take long for her to notice things where off and when she spoke, it was a soft “Sherlock?”

Sherlock kissed her again, this time hard and bruising. When he finally pulled away, he wordlessly grabbed his coat and left the apartment and John behind.

He sobered up during their conversation enough to form a plan, and once he was in the cab he called the one number on his phone he rarely admitted to owning.

“Ah brother dear, what do I owe the honour”

Sherlock stayed quiet long enough that Mycroft was ready to hang up. When he did speak up, it was through a choked sob.

“Mycroft…I…I need your help.”

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

John stepped close enough she could smell his cologne, expensive but the same after all these years. His eyes were desperate and flickering in between hers. When John spoke again, it was barely above a whisper. 

"Why did you leave?"

 

Sherlock turned away from her and formed his face in practiced blankness. When he finally spoke, it was with a stern look.  

“We were different people then, it wouldn’t have worked”

John scoffed as his plane and practiced tones, seeing right through the carefree attitude he was trying to use. Most people are easily fooled by Sherlock, but John is not most people.

“Bull shit.” She spat at him, “that’s complete bullocks and you know it.” John hadn’t waited seven years for this man just to have him brush her off.

Sherlock glanced at her for a moment but lifted his head to the ceiling as it held all the answers. If it wasn’t for the nervous bobbing of his throat he almost looked like a statue. John knew his bran needed a moment to think his words out, at least that’s what she hoped.

“John...I...”

Sherlock lowered his head but refused to look directly at John. John however never took her eyes off the taller man. This might be the last chance she has with him, and she won’t give that up for anything.

“I was not...sane, John.” She knew exactly what he meant and glanced down to his arms, fully covered by his shirt and coat. He noticed but continued anyway.

“I was broken and I knew I would never be able to give you what you wanted in a partner. I knew I would never be enough, so...so I left.”

“What I wanted?” John couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and her blood was starting to boil. “Sherlock who the hell are you to determine what I want?! I am perfectly capable of deciding things for myself, thank you very much.”

Sherlock looked at her then, eyes boring into her.

“Oh, it that so?” his voice was dripping with sarcasm. “So, this engagement party was your idea,” he said with a dramatic hand waving around them.

“What the hell does that have to do with anything?” is the balcony wasn’t hidden at the back of the venue, she’s sure people would hear their voices, but thankfully they were blissfully hidden from the world.

Sherlock gave her the look that said she was being particularly obtuse

“Marring after only 2 months? A little fast, don’t you think? You could say it’s because of your age, but no it's more than that, isn’t it? People do marry quick, someone they have only known for a short time, but you John,” he said taking a step closer “you like to get to know people. You told me this yourself. You aren’t marring because it’s what up want, you are marrying because Martin suggested it be the next reasonable idea. So yes, this does have everything to do with it. You yell at me because I chose for you when you were lost, but he” Sherlock pointed and aggressive finger to the hall “did the same, only you are being too blind to see it.  You aren’t marrying him because you want it, you are doing it because it’s easier than admitting the truth.”

John hated how Sherlock read things like a book, how he can throw her biggest insecurities into the air after years apart. What she hated most is how he was right, and she didn’t even notice until right now. But John had spent years being told off, and she has never been reasonable, so she let stubbornness win this one.

“There is no truth, Sherlock” John looked at him and he only raised his eyebrows at her, egging her to continue. “I…I love him,” she said because part of her did and she knew he saw the truth in her eyes because he physically winced at her words. She continued anyway “I’m marrying him because he’s good for me because he doesn’t leave toes in the fridge or bugs in the sink. He’s...” she struggled for words that could defend her future husband's honour “he’s normal

Sherlock rolled his eyes letting out a snort and looked down at John. “you are marrying him because he’s boring, John. Two years in that boring miserable life and you’ll do something stupid to crave the chase” he said matter of factly before he started to walk away. John was not having it and grabbed his arm with more force then he was expecting.

“For once in your god damn life would you talk to me instead of WALKING AWAY” Sherlock turned around and moved right into John's face.

“I may be the one who left, but I am not the one who walked away, John. You knew what your choice was, yet you waited to tell me. Secrets are only kept when someone is hiding their true feelings”

They stared at each other both fuming and both angry.

“You can read me like a book, Sherlock. You knew how important becoming a doctor was for me. You knew the military ran my family, yet you still didn't understand the one thing that was most important to me. I knew telling you would hurt you, I had no idea…”

She looked down and realized then she was still holding onto his arm, but as soon as Sherlock noticed her gaze he pulled it away from her grasp.

“Oh, don’t give me that look” He took a step back, full retort ready on his tongue. But when John looked up at him, her eyes were filled with worry and regret

“Sherlock...”

“Oh, for god sakes I’m clean” he practically shouted, and he pulled his sleeve up to show his pale arm, all that showed was barley their white dots, almost indivisible to the naked eye.

John couldn't help herself, she lifted her hand to carefully touched his arm, he jumped at her touch, but let her look.

“How…how long?”

Sherlock was quiet for a long time. John continued her curiosity of his forearm, hand grazing each mark.

“18 months. May 11th, 2018, to exact”

John's head shot up and looked at Sherlock with pure shock. His eyes were focusing past her shoulder, but she knew he was watching her every move.

“W-what”

He didn’t look at her, and slowly pulled his arm from her grip to pull his sleeve down, and buttons it back up.

“Sherlock…”

But before John could say anything, her future aunt, a plump woman dresses in a dress four sizes too small, popped her head on to the balcony.

“John! There you are!!! People were beginning to think you ran away!” she let out a small laugh, not noticing the tension she walked into. The Morstan’s never were very observant. “Martin wants to do the thanks with you before people leave” she smiled at John, then went back inside to let people known she’s been found.

“I…yea I will be right in,” she said while eyes never left Sherlock’s face. He looked both sad and reserved and blinked once before turning away and buttoning his jacket.

“You, erm” he gestured to the party with his head, “you should go. They will be waiting for you”

“Sherlock” John took a step forward, wanting to say something but not being able to form the words. Sherlock looked at her then, his eyes full of something John could point. His hand came up to touch the gold pendant around her neck and John's voice was caught in her throat. Slowly, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. He lingered for the smallest moment, but when he stepped away, his practiced mask was back in place.

“Goodbye, John” was all he said to her before, once again, Sherlock Holmes walked out of her life.

Chapter Text

August 2012

 

Mycroft walked into the cold meeting room of the rehab centre, his brother was in his white shrubs sulking like the man child he was. As soon as he walked in, his sour glare was boring holes into his brother, probably hoping he could burn him to a crisp if he tried hard enough. Mycroft simply sighed at his younger brother and leaned further onto his umbrella “This was the deal, Sherlock, I help you hide, then you get help. You will only have to be here three months; how bad could that possibly be?”

“I meant an apartment Mycroft, not a bloody psych ward!!”

Is looks could kill, Mycroft would have died thousand times over.

 

---

September 2012

 

The day Sherlock walked out on John a part of her died.

She stayed in the flat until the next day, hoping she should wait for him to return home. He never did, and so she picked up the last of her things and returned to her aunts.

Over the next few weeks she called him over and over again until he changed the number so couldn’t track him down anymore. To say she was confused was an understatement. She was angry, lost and mostly just hurt.

She wanted to fix things, she wanted to help him wherever he might be but is she leaving tomorrow to start her journey in the army and there was nothing else she could do but move hope he was ok.

Her first month away, she sent a letter to his address hoping to explain herself, but it just returned with the ‘wrong sender’ on the front.

If Sherlock didn’t want to be found, John wasn’t going to waste time looking for him.

 

---

 

March 2013 

 

Sherlock sat on his couch, the most of his memory of the past year deleted from lack of use, but one forever burnt into his mind palace

“Sherlock what the fuck are you doing?!” she stared at the younger man and couldn’t believe her eyes. She walked over to grab the needle from his hand.

Only in his dream, John turned to beautiful white powder he can indulge in his body, becoming one with him. He was so lost in the sensation, he didn’t even notice the git in front of him.

“Really Sherlock, not even a few months and you already broken your sobriety, mummy will be so disappointed”

“Piss off Mycroft. I’ll be fine, I am a scientist after all.  I just need to numb the pain” he kept his eyes closed and refused to look into his brother's judgmental face.

“John would be so disappointed” Sherlock groaned at his brother's comment, he was not allowed to use her against him. No one was, she is gone. “well she’s not here, is she” he rolled over until he back was to the other man.

“No, no she is not” Mycroft watched his younger brother waste his mind away to dirt when suddenly he thought of one last breath. “What if kept tabs on the doctor, just to ensure…her safety”

Sherlock looked up from the couch as he stared at his brother, wondering what he was trying to get at by bringing her into the conversation.

“Losing John is destroying you, but…if I can ensure she returns home safe, you must promise me you will commit, Sherlock. I cannot stand to see mummy as such distress over you.

Sherlock stared at his brother for a long time, not moving and barely breathing. Not willing to wait anymore Mycroft stood to leave. When he was at the door Sherlock spoke so quietly and softly that Mycroft barely caught it.

“Ok. For John”

---

 

December 2015

 

“Who is he?”

John was holding the old photo she had taken with her to the army. The photo was worn and fading, but the smiling face staring lovingly at her was something she kept near and dear to her heart.

“I am not taking a selfie, John. I am a grown man for god sake”  

John just snorted and brought the polaroid closer to his face. “it’s a memory, Sherlock! And besides, you are only 22, hardly old in my books. One photo, for me? PLEASE”

Sherlock rolled his eyes which means John new she won. She stood in front of his and he lowered his head slightly to match her height, and before the flash went John went “Say I’m a tall git” which captured the perfect moment Sherlock's bright smile broke into laughter.

Her hand touched the image, the memory of Sherlocks face bright in her mind.

“He is my best friend”

“Well he is a right babe, isn’t he,” Murray said as he looked at John’s photos and laughed. John joined in with him, he knew he was lighthearted about it all

 “Yea, he really is.”

 

---

October 2016

   

John stood in the cemetery with her sister beside her. Harry cleaned up, and her wife came to the memorial for support on them both. 

John worried this would set her off again, but she was only home for a few days on leave and didn’t want to ruin it.

Harry grabbed John's hand and squeezed, she looked at her sister and said “Aunt Marge wouldn’t want us to weep. She would’ve wanted a big meal in her name” John laughed with her sister, the first time in days she’s been able to smile.

 “You are right, she would’ve.” John couldn’t help the few tears that fell from her eyes, but Harry was right, she wouldn’t want this. Harry was all the family she had left, and she didn’t want to lose her.

As Harry walked away will Clara in hand, John couldn't help the overwhelming guilt she got whenever she thought of Sherlock, but right now she mostly wished he was here with her.  

---

January 2018

 

You cannot just show up to a crime scene, Holmes! Get out or I will arrest you for disorderly conduct. I’m sure Mycroft would be happy to see you in jail again,

“Don’t you DARE” Sherlock snarled at the detective inspector, hair wild and greasy, and skin thing and translucent from lack of nutrients. “You know I’m right Lestrade, just let me see the body and I can solve it for you” 

“I trust you Sherlock, but you are clearly high as a kite right now so I cannot let you anywhere near this crime scene. I’m sorry, but not this time”

“But...”

“No, Sherlock! Don’t make me get the boys to drag you out, we both know the boys won’t be nice, considering you outed one last week.”

Sherlock huffed away, angrier than ever at his dumb brother and his control on the whole country. Sherlock knew there was one thing Mycroft could never stop him from, and he had the perfect stash

 

---

May 2018

 

They had left the barracks to do a tour of the town. They were barely gone 20 minutes when their truck got attacked. Bullets were flying everywhere, and John was trying to help as many men as she could and pull them to safety.

Before she knew it, she was lying on her back in the sand, and her shoulder feeling like it had been ripped apart. She put her hand over in on instinct to stop the bleeding.

As she sat in the desert, bleeding out, she only had one thought in her mind “Dear god, let me live…for Sherlock, please!”

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

John stood out in the cold for a few minutes after Sherlock left. She needed to gather her thoughts before we went back in to enter the belly of the storm. When she did finally return, Martin was chatting up his old school mates and didn’t even notice she was standing beside him.

They walked around and chatted with people a little longer, mostly thanking his family for attending. As he and his mother were finishing up the goodbyes, John found a seat in the corner and sat with her hands in her lap, fiddling with the ring on her left hand.

When they started dating John made it clear she wouldn’t move in with him unless they were engaged. She had many relationships that turned messy when they moved in together out of convivence, most people weren’t a fan of night terrors. That’s why then Martin proposed after two months of dating, it was a shock. It was nothing special, he had taken her to dinner and explain the economic benefits of them being engaged, and how they would mutual have an easier life with a companion by their side. She did love him, he made her smile at times when she felt nothing but the darkness. He kept things just as tidy as she did, and days went by without the deep feeling of loneliness. If she often wished she was running through the streets of London versus attending another banquet, she never brought it up.

Sherlock got into her head and she could help wonder how she ended up in this position. After the army, she felt more alone than ever before, and Martin brought back the smallest spark in her. She noticed she was no lo longer unhappy, but never fully at peace with her choices. She figured she might be able to live a normal life for a while, and Martin was the perfect opportunity for that.

It wasn’t until she looked around the hall at the engagement party she had no say in, that she realized she wanted to be anywhere but here. She was so far in her head, she didn’t even notice Martin had walked over and was kneeling in front of her. He pushed a piece of fallen hair behind her ear and cupped the side of her face while he spoke. “Hey, you alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

John gave him a small smile. She couldn’t put her words together, not after her world got turned upside down by a certain consulting detective.

He smiled back and nodded, “My family can be a bit overwhelming, I’m sorry.” His hand softly rubbed her cheek, “Ready to leave?”

John was grateful for what he did for her, who knows if she would even be here without him, but she can’t deny the rush she saw being near Sherlock again. It made her realize hollow she has been since she returned to London. “Yea, let’s go.”

He leaned up and kissed her forehead. He always did play it safe with her, never pushing her limits of making her blood boil.

He entwined his hand with hers and pulled her to her feet. They walked to the car together, Martin making sure she got in ok. As he drove them home, John thought about all the events that transpired tonight. John always played it safe and did things the right way. She loved to get in trouble though, and maybe that’s why the unsettling feeling sat deep in her stomach the whole drive home.

They pulled up in front of their flat, the one he convinced her to move into since they got engaged. John didn’t have much, but she didn’t have the heart to tell him most of it was still with her sister.

When they walked into the expensive flat, Martin went into his study to send a couple of emails for work. John moved to the couch, a hand absently mindedly playing with the necklace around her neck.

She knew she needed to move past today, and get on with her life Sherlock was insane. He kept body parts in the fridge for god’s sake. Who knew what else if he was living alone. He was loud and obnoxious and dismissive of the people around him. But he was also comfort and understanding, and she never had to explain who she was with him. She knew he understood her more than anyone she’s ever met, and he loved her despite all of it.

Loved

He knew without speaking when she needed the soft sounds of the violin or a fresh cuppa in the morning. He left her when he knew he thought she needed him to, even if she didn’t want him to. Sherlock was…he was…

Sherlock was home.

The realization hit her like a brick. She still loved him. She’s always loved him.

John sat there on the couch with a realization she might have made the biggest mistake of her life. How many times would she need to lose the man before she lost him forever?

John got up, and her legs led her to Martin's office. The door was open, but she knocked anyway to let him know she was there. He looked up right away and smiled softly.

“Hello, there”

He noticed the look on her face as she walked into the room and stood in front of his desk, hands fiddling in front of her with the ring on her left hand. He got up from behind the desk to lean in from of it with his arms cross. She didn’t know what to say to him, but like always her mouth spoke before her head did.

“Why are you marrying me”

Martin was in finance and was usually never surprised by what people said to him because he always had a resolution for it, John is no exception. But do say he was thrown off was an understatement. He sat there for a moment, mouth opening and closing like a fish. When he spoke it, was with genuine curiosity “Where is this coming from?

“Just…please just answer the question”

“Because…because we are the perfect match.” He gave her a look like it’s the simplest answer. “because, you are a doctor, and a war hero, and not to mention you kill it in a dress” he looked at her with a cheeky smile, that fell as soon as he noticed the look of sadness on her face.

He walked over to her and grabbed her hands in his and lifted them to kiss each hand. “John, I know tonight was a lot, but it’s just one day. If you are worried about socializing, I can tell my mom the wedding doesn’t need to be so extravagant”

John looked at him, her lips in a thin line. She shook her head slowly while loosening her hands from his grip.

“Martin,” her right hand went to her left, and she held on to the ring. Martin watched her every move, not wanting to breathe in case what he thought was happening was about to happen.

John looked up into his eyes then, hers full of sadness and tears. She looked at him hoping he would understand what she is about to say.

“You are a wonderful man, and you helped me out of a dark hole” she slowly lifted the ring off her finger, “which I will forever be grateful for.” She held it in her hand and looked down at the beautiful two-carat diamond he picked out for her. “But you deserve someone who will love you until the end, someone who wants this life.” Her right hand grabbed his left and brought in between them and placed the ring in the centre of his palm, wrapping both of her around his as she closed it into a fist. “But it’s not me.”

He looked at her, really looked at her and for the first time, he realized maybe he didn’t know his John. She was always the sweet kind doctor, but he had never really seen the broken soldier, not until today. Martin was crushed, but somewhere deep inside him, he understood why. John never belonged to him, he was just a stop along the way.

He opened his hand to see the ring and spoke softly “If this is what you want.” He couldn’t look at her if he did he might not be able to control himself and beg her to stay. That he would take any part of her, even the broken parts. But he knew when she made up her choice, it was set. It's part of the reason he loved her so much.

John gave him a small smile, and leaned up to give a soft kiss on his cheek, “I’m sorry, Martin.”

John went to the bedroom and packed the small bag she brought when she moved in. It wasn’t much, the rest she could send for later. Right now, she needed to find him and needed to let him know she wasn’t done. Sherlock might walk away from every fight, but this time she would find him.

When she left the apartment, she realized two things; 1, she never changed out of her dress and the November air made her freeze to her bones and 2, she had no idea where she was going.

Chapter Text

November 2019

 

It didn’t take long for John to find Sherlock's flat, what took her so long was building the courage to go inside.

She went to Violet Holmes's house to speak to him, and she informed John that Sherlock changed his mind on the visit and left immediately after the party. She hinted at his new address, and before she even finished John was in a cab on her way to 221b Baker Street. When she got there, she could hear him playing a melody on his violin from outside, one she wasn’t familiar with. There he was, just 17 steps away, and all she had to do was knock.  So many times, has she let Sherlock slip through her fingers, getaway when he was barely in her grasp. He may not want her anymore, he might have moved on years ago, but the look on his face when he said goodbye at the hall meant something and John needed to know what.

She knocked on the door and a sweet landlady answered and let her in. She mentioned he’s been in a mood for hours, and likely wouldn’t respond but she was welcome to go up anyways.

When she got to the top of the landing, the music faltered for a split second, and then returned to its hypnotizing sounds. Sherlock was always talented in all he did, she never forgot that about him.

The door was already opened, so she took a step inside the flat, his flat. He continued playing, and John almost thought he was unaware of her presence but his shoulder slightly tensed and his playing became slightly more aggressive. Everything about the space screamed Sherlock, it is one chaotic organized mess, and John never though a place looked more like home.

Sherlock played the last note on his violin and brought it down in front of him. Moments passed in silence with neither one wanting to break the spell the music placed around them. Sherlock lifted the curtain back to get a better view of the street.

“Most people would knock. Then again, you aren’t most people.”

“Sherlock…I”

“Did Mycroft send you, him and his fear of danger night. Mummy will be fine left alone, she understands.”

“What? Mycroft? No, of course not. I just…”

Sherlock let scoff making it clear he did not believe her. John was starting to get a headache from all the emotions of the night and was slowly losing her patience on the matter.

“Sherlock, I did not come here because you and your brother's petty feud, I came here because I needed to talk to you.”

John rarely used her captain's voice anymore, but it affected Sherlock because he slowly turned his head towards her, and leaned down to place the violin back in its case. He turned around fully then and looked at John, deducing why she would show up at his doorstep at 1 am unannounced. His gaze landed on her left hand, and on instinct, John stuffed it in her pock.

His eyes met hers and they looked hard, and yet slightly hopeful. They looked back and forth between hers looking for something, anything to give a clue. Finally, he had enough of waiting, and slowly, but carefully said her name.

“John?”

“You were always enough” John blurted. She didn’t mean to be so forward, she wanted to talk about everything but once again her mouth spoke before her head. It was becoming a habit around Sherlock.

Sherlock stared blanking at her, the same shock on his as when he saw her earlier that day in the hall. Eye blinking, but not a muscle on his body moving.  She knew he would need time to process, and decided since she already started, may as well let it all out there. 

John slowly took a step towards Sherlock, not being able to stop herself from being closer to him. “Sherlock, there was only ever you.” John stopped to collect her thoughts she had running in her head on the way over, “When you left that day, a part of me died. I looked everywhere I could for you and I only stopped when I realized that you didn’t want to be found.” Sherlock looked down at that, guilt clear on his face, but John continued anyways because she needed him to know, to understand.

“For the past seven years, there has been a part of me missing, a hole left in my heart. When I got shot, when I was laying there on the sand, barely alive, all I wanted, all I could think of was you. It was only ever been you.

They stared at each other for a while, neither understanding what they would do next. Sherlock swallowed hard, but his eyes never left hers.

Sherlock stepped towards her, finally closing the gap between them. They weren’t touching, but he was hovering over her, his breath hot on her face. He lifted a hand to gently cup her cheek, and John let out a sigh. She relaxed into his hand, eyes never leaving his.

“Why did you leave” John whispered, needing to know the real reason why.

“Who could ever love an addict, John?” Sherlock's sad eyes looked at hers, but he broke away and took a step back. Hands falling to his side, he kept his focus on the floor.  

“Sherlock” John took a step forward, grasping both his large hands in hers, holding the hands between them.

“I’m not the man you think I am, I never was. I’m not a hero, I’m a junkie. You deserved more than that, you still do.” He said the last part in a whisper, his eyes never leaving his shoes, but he let himself be pulled towards John once more.

John cupped his face in her hands and forced him to look her in the eyes. She needed him to see how much he matters to her, how no matter what anyone else said, John belonged to Sherlock and Sherlock to John.

“You are the best man; the most human being I have ever known. You always have been to me, Sherlock Holmes. Whatever anyone else told you doesn’t matter because you are perfectly imperfect to me.”

Sherlock could see it then, the love in John’s eyes. The pure and unbroken trust she always had in him, even after all this time. He had no words for this woman, and he finally did the thing had waited seven years for. In one swift motion, he leaned down and captured her lips with his.

Sherlock kissed John with all his heart, hoping the kiss could translate the years of grief and loss he has had for her, and how much he loved her. How he always had.

John's hands were in his hair, pulling him closer, while he wrapped around her waist and brought them together so they touched nose to the waist.

Neither is sure how long the kiss lasted, but it went from the passion of years lost, to slow pecks all over the face. Eventually, John leaned back to look at Sherlock’s rosy lips and the slight pink blush on his cheeks.

“May 11th, How did you...”

“Mycroft”

John let out a breathless laugh, “Mycroft?”

“I... I made him a promise. I was a broken man, John, I still am. I left that day and he forced me into rehab, which didn’t...it didn’t take. After a while, he didn’t know what else to do. So he promised me If you got hurt, he would do all he could to help, and in turn…I would do all I can to fix my...habit”

“So, you…You knew I was back in London?”

“We didn’t exactly end on good terms, and how was I to be sure you’d come back here. You have to understand John, I was doing what I thought was best,” and John did, she knew exactly what he meant. When John got back to London she was a broken soldier, and she’s not sure she would have been healed enough to accept this man for what he is worth.

“I do. God, I do.” and she leaned forward to kiss him again, just because she could.  His cupid bow was always so kissable, time made sure of that.

Somehow Sherlock pulled them to the couch, and John was on his lap, knees on either side, straddling him. John's hands were wrapped around his shoulder, playing with the hair on the nape of his neck. Sherlock had one hand around her waist keeping her close, and the other was at her neck, caressing her jaw and carefully lifting the heart pendant into his hand.

John leaned back to watch his gaze at the necklace. He held the pendent like was the answer to all his questions, like it was the missing piece of his puzzle.

“You didn’t take it off”

“I made a promise.”

Sherlock looked up those words. Eyes full of lust, wonder and most importantly, love

Words would never be enough to explain what John Watson meant to Sherlock Holmes. This woman makes him want to be a better man, to be stronger and braver in every way possible. It wasn’t so hard this time around because he knew no matter what life tossed at them, he will always have his John.

“I’m in love with you John. I always have been.”

The smile that erupted on John's face was so bright Sherlock could help but lean up to kiss it. John giggled into his mouth and kissed him back until both were gasping for breath.

“Say it again”

“I love you, John”

“I love you, Sherlock.” John took his face in her hands again, never getting tired of the way his silver eyes roamed all over her face when she did. “If you think for one second, I will ever let you get away again, you have another thing coming. You have stuck with me, Mr. Holmes.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Chapter Text

October 2020 - Epilogue

 

It has been 11 months since John showed up at Sherlock's doorstep the night of her engagement party.

Martin made sure to let his family know it was amicable, and now John only gets the occasional angry text versus the multitude she had at the beginning. Naturally, since she had no flat she moved in with Sherlock the next day. Her boxed showed up out of the blue, and she’s sure she has a certain government official to thank.

John knew life with Sherlock would be anything but boring, and she has loved every minute of it. Two days after she moved it, a detective inspector from Scotland yard showed up at their flat spewing something about another suicide and a note. Sherlock ran out following, but returned back requesting John join him, and she immediately felt the adrenaline rush into her blood. And if running around London wasn’t enough to imagine the battle field, shooting the guilty cabby was.

Case after case, John filled out the blog that was recommended as a joke by her therapist. Their stories together were documented with love and humour of their ridiculous adventures. Like always, they kept their private life private, but at some point, someone would notice.

They were at a crime scene, something about twin priest being murdered. Sherlock, as always, was pestering the yard about their lack of effort in forensics, and spurring off his brilliant deductions. John was at the edge, standing beside sally Donovan, holding a crap cup of coffee and chatting away about crap telly.

“and to make them go on a date with no knowledge of each other? God I could never”

“Hah! God dating must be awful these days” John said while never lifting her eyes from the lankly detective.

Donovan gave John a side glance, and wondered for the 50th time if her and Sherlock were shagging. She knew they were good friends, anyone would notice that with the bantering, but no one had the balls to ask. Lestrade changed the subject if she ever brought it up, something about ‘none of our concern.’ Before she could finally ask, John’s phone dinged and she pulled it out. She pulled off gloved hand with her mouth to answer the message, and Donovan’s jaw dropped.

Sitting on John’s left hand was a simple platinum band with a one caret diamond glistening from the street lamps above them.

“John bloody Watson! You are ENGAGED?!”

John looked up from her phone and pocketed once her text was sent. She blushed just a little, and let out a little giggle. She put a lose stand of hair behind her ear, and nervous tick and places her left hand out in front of her. “Yeah, not sure what that idiot was thinking. I’m sure his mother had some influence.” She smiled to herself, remembering that day like it was yesterday.

 

It was a month ago, and they were at Sherlocks mom’s cottage in Chelmsford. They had just had one of the best meals of her life from Violet Holmes. ‘cooking is just chemistry John, and my mother happens to be exceptional at both’ Sherlock had said to her when he properly introduced John as his girlfriend. His mom had her suspicions, but was over the moon with the news. They tried to visit at least once a month, it was much better than having Violet around the flat. It was a crisp end of summer evening, and Sherlock took John to his favourite part of town – a hidden meadow. They sat on the grass, Sherlock leaning back and John between his legs.  

“It’s so peaceful here. I can imagine us retired, with a cottage of our own. You taking care of bees, me tending the garden. Pure bliss.”

“Is that what you want John?”

“To retire? God no, we are for too young for that”

  “No, I mean…a future with me”

John turned around to look at Sherlock, and in his hand was the most beautiful ring she’d ever seen. The band was a simple platinum, and on the top was a circle cut diamond as clear at the sky. Johns breath caught in her throat and she could feel the warm prickle of tears at the corner of her eyes. She covered her mouth with her hand and let out the smallest gasp.  Before Sherlock opened his mouth, she said “Yes!”

“John, I haven’t asked” Sherlock pretended to look annoyed, but the grin on his face gave him away.

“Okay, okay sorry, go ahead.”

  “I thought my one chance at love was lost, and I was ok with that. But…then you came back into my life just as unexpectedly as the first time and I felt as if I was finally home again. I never want us to have to be apart, so I ask you, John Watson, if you would do me the greatest honour of becoming my wife." Sherlock paused, and took a shaky breath before asking " Will you marry me?”  

John's face could barely hold back the smile and the tears she tried to hold back had fallen long ago. “Well I don’t know; can you pay my dowry?”

Sherlock let out a long breath and a laugh close to a sob “John!”  

“Yes, Sherlock! Of course, I will marry you, you great git.”

Sherlocked placed the ring on her finger and snogged John until they were both blue in the face.  

   

“yoo-hoo, John? Did I lose you there”?

John shook her head, remembering where she was and realizing Donovan had been trying to get her attention for a while now. “Oh sorry, lost in the memory for a moment”

“So?? Who is the lucky bastard? God I’ve never seen you look so smitten. I imagine he’s a saint to put up with Sherlock”

John let out a laugh at that, realizing not the first time Sherlock might actually be right with the brilliance level of the yard.

“Well I should hope so, since I have been shagging the lanky git.” John gave Donovan a sideway glace and burst into laughter at the look of horror on her face.

“You...you are shagging Holmes, but…you’re?”

“Engaged? Yeah, to Sherlock.” John flashed the ring once again to Donovan, who grabbed her hand to inspect it further.

“But...Since when? How have I not noticed, how has no one discussed it”

John just shrugged her shoulder to the questions, “Lestrade knew, he helped pick up the ring”

“But…but…but…there were no signs!!!”

“My god Donovan, you see but you do not observe.” Donovan whipped her head around Sherlock walking towards them, smirk clear on his face.

Sherlock leaned down to leave a chase kiss on John’s lips, hand gentling cupping her cheek. When he pulled back he gave her the softest smile, one never would expected from the self-proclaimed sociopath. At this point half of the yard watching their display of affection, most just in shock at the open display of love.

“Are you ready, my betrothed?” Sherlock said with a barely hidden smirk and held his hand out to John, who in turn rolled her eyes. She took his hand, and they made their way out of the location. The both burst unto giggles when they got out of the crime scene, John barely able to hold back.

“My betrothed? I am still waiting on that dowry, so we shall see about that”

Sherlock spun her around and pulled her close to his chest, the yard behind them but far enough away no one could hear them.

Sherlock held Johns hand in his, placed soft kiss first to her right hand, then to the left.

“Never take it off.” It wasn’t a question, and John knew it. But she pulled him down until they were levelled, her lips were barely against his and she responded anyways.

“Never.”