The light was fading quickly, the temperature dropping with it and yet Sherlock could still not bring himself to open the door and cross the threshold. It was a small mercy it wasn’t raining.
Finally tired of pacing up and down the pavement outside 221B Baker Street, he stopped and leaned against a wall a little way down the street. A light came on in the living room he knew so well and had not seen for many months, it’s amber light warm and yellow, seeping through the cold glass. He exhaled a cloud of vapor into the night air, it’s smoke like presence making him want a cigarette.
Sherlock had never been so confused and conflicted in life, at least not that he could recall. He had fought so hard and for so long to get back home and now standing in cold outside, he wasn’t sure he belonged here anymore.
John had been informed of the fact he was actually still alive, Mycroft had described John’s reaction as ‘unexpected’ but refused to elaborate, except to say that Sherlock should return home without further delay. John had also been given certain files and spoken information on the reasons for his fake suicide and what had happened since. Sherlock did not expect this to make things any easier on either of them, in fact he expected to be bombarded with questions he had no desire to answer just yet. He was damaged in more ways than he could reasonably cope with and he knew that John was too. This was why he lingered.
The cold was beginning to seep though his heavy wool coat, he hugged it tighter around himself before fingering the pack of cigarettes he carried in his coat. Finally he drew the pack from his pocket and plucked out a slim white cylinder with slightly shaking fingers. He lit it with the 40 commando zippo he had been gifted on his travels, watching the end of the cigarette flare bright red and hot in the increasing darkness around him. He drew the smoke into his lungs deeply and exhaled on a sigh.
Did John know he was here? Was he wondering why Sherlock had not yet entered the property? Had he read all the files? Sherlock suspected not and couldn’t decide if that would mean more or less questions.
Would it be better to walk away now, leave John to his own life, free from Sherlock and the terrible things he done, the terrible things that had been done to him? Was it selfishness that bought him back here, his need and want for the only friendship he had ever known, did John want it back as much as he did?
Stupid to ask these questions of himself really, John was the only one who could answer them and yet he didn’t know if he could bring himself to ask.
Sherlock finished his cigarette and shoved his hands in his pockets, the chilly metal of his old door key under his fingers. He pressed his thumb hard into the teeth of the key, the sharpness grounding him a little. With a deep breath he turned and walked towards the front door, key raised ready to face the music.
A burning yearning simmered inside the blond. Why hadn’t Sherlock come and gotten him. John could have helped. No, He’s read most of the files. Sherlock was protecting him, in return getting the piss beat out of him. Even still the doctor could help a flutter of endearment towards the consulting detective.
With that the army doctor was on his feet grabbing his coat. He slapped the light off slamming the door shut. John barring down the stairs John, paused at the bottom. Hands in his pocket John fished out his key, the sharp teeth of its edge licked at his fingertips. With one final pat down to make sure he had everything he zipped up his jacket moving for the door.
The loud buzz followed by a chirping ring tone poured out of John’s pocket. Shaking fingers dug it out of his trousers pressing the answer button.
“Yes hello…..Detective Inspector hi….no no…..I’m uhh..I’m fine….no about to pop out actually…busy, no why?”
As the man spoke he moved closer to the door reaching out for the handle. Just as he opened it a dark figure moved inform of the door. John stared wide eyed, gapping like a fish out of water. Lastrade kept talking into the phone, but every word he said was ignored. John, who was now floundering at the site before him, couldn’t believe it.
John said before he snapped himself out of his stupor and balled his fist. Rearing back, he socked the tall curly hair man square in the jaw. In the violent movement the phone was dropped and if you listened you could hear the man on the other line yelling out John’s name.
His knuckles hurt but he didn’t care. He stared hard at the man before him. John couldn’t help it, he was pissed at Sherlock for running off without him. Not even a ‘Hey, I’m fine. Not really dead.’ post card. While yes the army doctor had read most off the files and could understand his reasoning it didn’t help heal the hurt he felt, still feels.
“Take me with you next time, you bloody prat!”
John wheezes out as he started hyperventilating. He leaned over and took deep steady breaths, focusing a harder glare up at Sherlock with his bright blue eyes that stung with tears.
Sherlock stumbled backwards a step as the door flew open. He opened his mouth to say …he wasn’t sure what but something and then the fist hit him. John had a very hard and accurate punch, as Sherlock was well aware but it still caught him by surprise even if the action itself was expected.
His head was thrown to the side with the force of the impact, John’s knuckles splitting the inside of his lip against his own teeth. Head down and turned to side he lifted a hand to his mouth and spat blood onto pavement.
The deep red, thick liquid held his eyes for a moment, reminding him of a day long ago, a day he wished to forget but knew he never would. But then the blood had not been his own.
Turning slowly, dreading to see the face he so longed for, filled with hatred, Sherlock looked up at John on the steps but did not move forward.
"I am so very sorry John." He spoke so lowly, he couldn’t be sure that he had been heard and turned to go, believing that he had indeed no place here now.