What You Took From Me

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            John sat in his chair, drink in hand. The telly was playing some movie that John wasn’t really paying attention to. John was simply staring at the screen, feigning existence as he finished off his glass, and feeling dissatisfied with his lack of buzz, he stood to pour himself another glass. He briefly wondered how much alcohol it would take to kill him, making this the fourth time today he contemplated suicide. The first was thinking of stepping in front of an on coming car, then there was starting a fight with a random, scruffy druggie hanging around the darker sides of town, and of course, there was always the hospital. On a weekly basis, John had a tendency to pass it, eyes wondering up to the roof, mind replying what happened. Every time, John knew that taking just one step over the edge would end him, and end him quickly. Every time, John knew that he was just one step closer to doing it too.

As he topped his glass off, his eyes found the time and realized it was getting late, so with a sigh he finished pouring the glass- who knows, maybe he’d wake up thirsty- and dragged himself over to his bedroom. Changed for bed, John set the glass on his night table and slipped beneath the sheets and let slumber droop over him. Tomorrow, he’d wake up, go to work and see a bunch of boring patients, contemplate death, and then come home. It was a sad little existence that John had that made him wonder with every waking moment why he was alive instead of Sherlock. He would’ve given anything to trade places because deep down, John knew something hadn’t been right with that whole scene. Yet, nonetheless, Sherlock was dead, leaving John with nothing but questions and heartache. At least in slumber, some of the pain went away.

Restless even in his dreams, John tossed and turned, waking more then once to untangle himself from his sheets. At one point, mid-detangle, John heard a light shuffling noise coming from the kitchen. He knew Mrs. Hudson had long since gone to bed and with the help of her ‘herbal soothers’ she wasn’t going to wake until the morning, so Digging in his night table for his service weapon, John slid from the bed and tip-toed to the kitchen, checking every corner before he rounded them. Just outside of the kitchen, John paused, seeing the shadow of someone tall. The fridge opened, John saw his opportunity, and swung around the final corner to the kitchen, gun up and ready, but once he did, he froze in disbelief. The barrel of his gun was aimed right at someone who simply couldn’t be alive.

John registered the curly locks, the long coat, the blue scarf, those damn cheekbones. He looked almost exactly like he had when John has last seen him.

“We’re out of milk, John,” Sherlock pointed out, turning to face John, completely oblivious to the gun pointed at his face.

“S-Sherl-” John’s eyes rolled back, and noticing, Sherlock was quick to slam the fridge door and rushed to John, grabbing him as his legs gave out, hand grabbing the gun and quickly flipping the safety. Tossing the gun to the side, Sherlock dragged John over to the couch and laid him down with some effort before dropping into his own arm chair. Oh how he missed his chair.

He looked at John, unable to believe he fainted. Who actually faints? Then again, seeing a person you thought was dead standing in the kitchen can’t be something easy to process. Sherlock was almost tempted to put John back in his bed and have him think it was a dream, but even Sherlock knew there was something deeply wrong with that. Besides, they both waited long enough to be in each other’s company again. Looking at John, Sherlock could see how obviously Sherlock’s ‘death’ effected him. He could see the weight loss, how it hollowed John’s face out; the white that now litters John’s hair; the shadows that haunted his feature and the wrinkles that crowded his face.

God, what had he done to his poor doctor?

For a brief moment, Sherlock’s heart tightened and he was more than sure it was guilt rushing through him, but it was quickly overcome when John stirred. Sherlock listened as John breathed his name, and he was tempted to respond, but he was more than sure John was dreaming. From the looks of it, John hasn’t gotten a whole lot of sleep in a while.

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