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FIC: Above the Waves

Fandom: Sherlock
Characters: John, Sherlock, Lestrade, Jim
Rating: PG 13
Warnings: Mental health issues, torture, grief. It's quite dark.
Summary: Sherlock is a patient, and John is his doctor.

Written for this prompt on the Sherlock kink meme.

Above The Waves

John Watson is alone, and all he can hear is the rushing of the water as it sweeps over his head, dragging him to the bottom. He has the same dream ever night; the darkness blots out the sun and the sky, and all the world around him is churning out madness like ink.

There was no water in the desert, and he understood the risks. Here, it is lunacy, and he cannot comprehend. He chokes, drowns, sinks like a stone.

John wants to jump, but is too afraid of falling.

*

The briefing on the new arrival says that he has had to be sedated, and that he has driven more than one doctor to a near mental breakdown, despite the fact that he has only been in care for six months. John watches them bring him in, a tall, thin man with a mass of dark hair stuck to his forehead and a thick coat wrapped around him as if he feels cold deep in his bones even in the hot summer sunshine. He scowls; a gentle, teenage scowl. John warms to him at once.

“Wait and see,” cautions a porter in an undertone as the young man is ushered past him, “he won’t last here. He doesn’t think he’s mad, see? But he’s a fucking lunatic, this kid. It’s for his own good, it really is.”

“It always is,” sighs John, signing off on the paperwork. And that – with two words scrawled in biro - is it. By rights it should have been blood, because now he signs his life away, and now there's no escaping.

Now he’s his doctor.

*

John tidies methodically; he has done it twenty thousand times before, folding the clothes neatly in the drawers, making the bed with crisp clean sheets, placing the pyjamas under the pillow. It is what other people would call a waste of time, and the other doctors on the other wards have pointed out, several times, that that’s what the nurses are for. But John enjoys it, in a way, and he has always been a tidy man, so he tries to keep the bedrooms clear enough.

Besides which, he wants to make less work for that nice new nurse, because then the nice new nurse might have time to come and share a nice new coffee with him. And the nice new nurse strikes John as a tidy sort of chap.

But it won’t last long. It never does.

*

“Doctor Watson to the Day Room. Doctor John Watson to the Day Room.”

He arrives to find his patient crouched under a table, refusing to come out, his eyes wild.

“Mr Holmes,” he sighs, kneeling down to the man’s eye level, “what is it?”

“I’m drowning in here,” the other man snaps, furiously. “And those idiots, I can’t think, not when everybody’s being so loud and distracting.”

“Mr Holmes, they’re just talking.”

“It’s distracting from my work. My important work, which won’t wait just because I happen to be stuck in here. And Anderson won’t stop trying to tell me his little ideas like they’re something clever. It’s insulting.”

John looks over to another patient, happily engrossed in explaining his drawing of a dinosaur to a nurse. He sighs, calmly.

“Mr Anderson has as much right to be in the Day Room as you do,” he explains, not for the first time, and Holmes sniffs infuriatingly.

“I’m not mad,” he implores, also not for the first time, “why can’t anyone see that?”

John remembers the man’s file painfully, clearly, like a flash in his skull. Periodic delusions and hallucinations; inflated self-importance; sociopathic tendencies.

“Of course not, Mr Holmes,” he soothes, quietly, “so come out from under the table, and we’ll see what we can do about finding a quieter room.”

*

He is used to this now; the therapy sessions that go nowhere at all, in which Holmes refuses to explain anything, or sometimes even to talk. When John tries to say that the therapy is for his own mental health, he will snort and ask what the point is anyway, when nobody will listen to him.

He hasn’t changed his story since he got here; he was a detective, and he was going to win, and they wanted him locked up.

At the end of yet another unproductive session, John scrawls in his doctor’s handwriting the same note he has written every day for the last two months.

Consistent paranoid fantasies. Uncooperative behaviour. Good god, I hate him.

*

John gets a text from Jim about half past twelve, when he is sat in the staff room with a cup of coffee. It is, like so much about Jim, playful, yet to the point.

Fag time with your favourite fag? J x

John grins, goes over to the window, sees Jim downstairs on the lawn waving a packet of cigarettes at him with a terrible grin. He smiles. There are, after all, some things that make this job worth doing.

Five minutes later, sat on a bench in the grounds with the young nurse’s hand in his and his head on Jim’s shoulder, he is glad he missed breakfast this morning. It makes this perfect, private lunchtime reunion all the sweeter.

“One of my patients still thinks you’re trying to kill him,” he remarks, watching the smoke from Jim’s cigarette drift languidly into the crisp autumn air. Jim laughs in that singularly Irish way he has, a high pitched giggle that once annoyed and now endears.

“Oh, let me guess,” he chuckles, “our mutual friend.”

“That’s the one.” Jim does not have to elaborate, for Holmes is as much Jim’s patient as his, now. He is the only patient he has known Jim to take a personal interest in; it’s how they met, in fact, Jim asking him out shyly as he changed the man’s sheets. Jim wraps his lips around the cigarette in a manner that ought to be banned, and then blows out insolently.

“Well, John Watson,” he says, stubbing it out with his foot and kissing John’s scratchy chin, “I think it’s time you went to see him and chatted to him about it.”

“Oh, do you? Do you really? And is there anything you’d like me to say?” John looks grumpy, but Jim just chuckles again and presses John’s cheeks together into a squashed parody of a kiss.

“Gottle of geer,” he grins, moving John’s jaw for him, and he kisses him again.

*

“So, Mr Holmes, how are we today?”

Holmes is quiet, intently watching his foot as it scuffs along the floor. John is forcibly, vividly reminded, seeing the pale, near transparency of the skin (and who let him walk around without slippers?) of the man who his last doctor’s notes describe; of the total psychosis, the vivid hallucinations, the drug addiction. Progress, he thinks, has at least been made here. He clears his throat.

“Last time we spoke about your brother. Would you like to talk about him again?”

Holmes looks up at that, only for an instant, but it is an instant long enough to dart a glare that contains death, before he becomes engrossed again in his own feet.

“Perhaps not,” John relents, and he checks his files, despite knowing their contents inside out.

“Do you love him?” asks Holmes, suddenly.

“I beg your pardon?” asks John in response, taken aback.

“Jim. Do you love him?”

“And why would that interest you?”

John’s polite smile pointedly does not waver, just as Holmes’ point of focus never does.

“Do be careful of loving him, doctor. He’s a sociopath.”

“Are you sure you’re not just projecting again, Mr Holmes?” asks John, kindly. Holmes looks up, straight at John, and his icy eyes are black as the ocean.

“He’ll burn the heart out of you, Doctor Watson,” he says, simply. “Burn it right out.”

*

John Watson spends that night alone, ignores the texts from Jim asking where he is, and what beers he wants Jim to get in from the shop. He puts a load into the machine, makes pasta which he forgets to eat, and gets an early night; dreams of the waves again.

When he wakes, he doesn’t feel much better for it.

*

“Doctor Watson,” drawls the man sat in his office, “so good of you to find time to talk to me again.”

John shakes his hand with the firm handshake of the ex-military, but is surprised to find that the limp hand proffered becomes surprisingly strong once grasped. He inclines his head.

“Always happy to speak to a benefactor of the hospital, Mr Holmes. How can I help?”

“Mycroft, please. Now, my brother’s… delusions,” says the older man, biting down on the word as if he finds it distasteful, “how are they coming along?”

“Um, well.” John pops the reading glasses he is ashamed to need on the end of his nose and draws out the relevant file. “I’m afraid there hasn’t been much progress to speak of, Mr Holmes, but we have at least managed to get the night terrors under control.”

“Ah yes,” says Mycroft smoothly, “these nightmares about murderers, yes?”

“Of various criminals, yes, and particularly about not being listened to. The police tend to feature, as do you. It is quite fascinating, really, the way the nightmares tie in with the daytime fantasies…” John realises, too late, that it is entirely inappropriate to speak to this man about how his brother is weird enough to be viewed as a scientific subject, and starts to apologise, but Mycroft waves one hand.

“Sherlock has always been a singularly minded person, Doctor Watson. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. And he does not tend to make friends easily.”

John chuckles. “He still maintains he was forced here,” he says, as the other man glances into his tea. Mycroft looks entertained.

“Well, so he was, Doctor Watson. He is, after all, committed. He was hardly going to voluntarily enter hospitalisation, not with his ego.”

“Ego. That’s an interesting word for it.”

Mycroft shrugs. “Call it what you will. Myself, I believe he makes up these delusions in an attempt to give his life some excitement, some meaning. He could have achieved so much. We are a high reaching family.”

“Ah, yes, and what did you say he did, before he came here?” asks John, reaching for a pen.

There is only the slightest of pauses before Mycroft replies, but it is enough to jar. “He was… a chemist,” he responds. “Nothing too taxing.”

“And yet he says he was a detective,” John says, watching the other man’s eyes closely.

“Oh, a scientist has to fathom the mysteries of the world, I suppose. Who can explain the sense of a madman’s mind, Doctor Watson?”

“Me, Mr Holmes,” says John. “I rather think that’s what you pay me for.” Mycroft smiles, as a shark might smile at a persistent fish. John smiles back. “So, nothing relating to crime in his life at all?”

It is a good lie, and if John wasn’t a trained psychiatrist, he probably wouldn’t have noticed it. But he is, and he does.

“No,” Mycroft lies, cooly. “Nothing to do with crime at all.”

*

John has his suspicions, by now. He watches Holmes refuse pointedly to ‘take some exercise’ like all the other patients; watches from his office window as Holmes sinks onto the same bench he and Jim share every day, and lights a cigarette in a sulky manner. Seized by a sudden compulsion, he grabs his jacket.

Holmes does not jump when John suddenly appears beside him. Instead he holds out the lit cigarette, and John realises that the man lit two, one still in his own mouth.

“Very impressive, Mr Holmes,” John says, taking it. “You were expecting me then.”

“Oh, doctor, please, it’s Sherlock,” says his patient, attempting to blow smoke rings and failing.

They smoke in silence for a second, and then John turns his head towards his patient.

“Why don’t you tell me why you’re here, Sherlock?” he asks.

Holmes doesn’t say anything for a few moments. He rolls the cigarette (a hand rolled, thin one - the patients tend to run low on tobacco by midweek) between his extravagant fingers like he’s twirling a baton.

“You have my records. They should tell you everything you need to know,” he replies.

“I’m not sure they do.”

“What do they say?” Holmes asks, looking at the ground as if it fascinates him. John leans back.

“They say,” he says, slowly, “that you’re a violent, paranoid, delusional sociopath who has fabricated an entire fictional life to avoid this one.”

“Excellent,” says Holmes. His voice is bitter.

“And you certainly fit the profile of a sociopath,” John adds, watching Holmes closely.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever denied it.”

“But I think there’s something in these delusions.”

“Do you indeed?”

“Yes. Why have you stopped telling me about them?”

“There is very little reason to assume it will make any difference,” he says, unconcerned, sucking in a lungful of smoke. “Even if you were intelligent enough to believe me, which you patently don’t, and even if you could remain uncorrupted by external forces, you really have very little influence in the grander scheme of things.”

John is not offended. It is impossible to know Holmes at all and not have rude comments made at you several times a day. But he persists, gently.

“Your brother put you in here, didn’t he?”

“I really have very little desire to talk about this particular matter, doctor,” says Holmes, standing up, but John continues.

“Of course, you were hallucinating wildly at the time. Believing you were a detective, that the whole world was trying to kill you, that you were on the trail of a criminal mastermind-”

“It wasn’t a hallucination, you idiot!” Holmes hisses, and for that moment, he looks quite, quite insane; more insane than John has ever seen him. And it is this that gives John the courage to carry on.

“No,” he says, “it wasn’t. It was real, wasn’t it?”

Holmes breathes out, leans into John, towering over him, and for a moment, John catches the eye of the nurse on duty. She mimes a walkie-talkie. Almost imperceptibly, John shakes his head.

“There wouldn’t be any point in you calling security anyway,” snarls Holmes angrily without looking round, “they’d only ask me to go inside, and we’ve got therapy in half an hour.”

He sits down next to John again. Leans forward. Takes a long, irritated drag on his cigarette.

“I was a detective,” he growls, “and nobody would listen.”

*

So over the next few days, John listens. Holmes is a torrent of information, as if the floodgates have opened, and it is all John can do not to drown in the tide. He listens, and he asks the right questions, and he learns not to wonder what Holmes means when he says that John makes quite an acceptable skull. And in the listening, in the rush of the words, he learns more about Holmes than he suspects Holmes ever wanted him to learn.

He learns about Holmes’ flat in Baker Street, and the fact that the cocaine was only for when he got bored. He learns about the different cases Holmes has handled. He learns about Inspector Lestrade, and Mrs Hudson. He learns that yes, the sociopathic tendencies were present from infancy. He learns that Holmes believes that the reason his brother Mycroft stuck him in here was a selfish attempt at protection that came too late.

When he asks why Mycroft would think Holmes needs to be kept safe, Holmes admits that his most recent case might have caused a little bit of trouble, and that some things, perhaps, seem to be more important than the truth.

John prods at that as only a good psychiatrist can, asks questions about the case and the man involved. But suddenly Holmes clams up, kicks the chair over, and tells John he’s being dull, and John knows the flood is over, for now.

*

It is his day off, and it doesn’t coincide with Jim’s. In the morning, when Jim leaves for work with wet hair and a sloppy kiss, he rolls over and pretends to be asleep. Seconds later, when he hears the front door slam, he is up and in the shower. He has places to go and people to see.

He meets Inspector Lestrade for coffee in a Pret A Manger. The policeman is kind, eager to help, was happy to try to find a space in his schedule for the meeting. John stirs in a packet of sugar and pretends it doesn’t taste bitter.

Lestrade asks him about his job, which John has pretended is with the criminally insane, and is happy to answer any questions put to him. And then John leans over and says the two words Lestrade is hoping never to hear again.

“Sherlock Holmes,” he says.

Lestrade looks at him with eyes that reveal absolutely nothing. He does not even blink. John is impressed.

“I’m afraid I don’t know anybody of that name,” he says, his voice level.

“He seems to know you,” John replies. He holds out a photo, one of the portrait shots they keep in their patient’s files. “Look familiar?”

Lestrade scans it briefly and pushes it back across the table. “I’m afraid not, Doctor Watson. Can I help you with anything else?”

“He’s a consulting detective,” says John. “He helps the police when they get in too deep.”

The policeman laughs. “There’s really no such thing, Doctor Watson. Private detectives may be all very well in fiction, but we’re more than capable of dealing with criminals ourselves, thank you.”

John reaches over, grips the man’s hand. “I know you know him,” he hisses. “What’s going on here?”

Lestrade snatches his hand away like it’s been burnt, and won’t meet John’s eyes.

“I don’t know anyone called Sherlock Holmes,” he says, and then, suddenly, almost silently, “not anymore.”

“What?” asks John, leaning forward, but there is a buzz from Lestrade’s shirt pocket. He looks down, snapping from his sullenness, reads the text message on the phone screen with worried, tired eyes. Lestrade has had enough.

“Pleasure to meet you, Doctor Watson,” he says, not offering a hand to shake, grabbing his suit jacket from the back of the chair, “please excuse me, but I have to dash. Criminals don’t catch themselves, you know.”

And he is gone, leaving John more at sea than before. But as he leaves, as John will remember in years to come, he will not meet John’s eyes. John swallows down the coffee in one scalding gulp.

*

“Would you like to know where I spent yesterday afternoon, Sherlock?”

John arrives for their therapy session freshfaced and smiling to himself in a quietly unassuming way. Holmes looks at him for only a second, smiles back without a trace of humour. He looks at John once, motions for him to continue, and his eyes seem to burn.

John is unnerved.

“In the newspaper section of the British Library,” he begins, “and I found-”

Holmes has silently pushed a folded piece of paper across the desk, drumming his fingers on the table. John takes it and opens it; reads the words crawled in orange felt tip.

British Library. Newspaper Reading Room.

John looks at him, startled, and this time Holmes smiles with enthusiasm.

“I am a detective, doctor,” he says, blithely. “But do, please, continue with your own deductions. They are sure to be entertaining.”

“And I found a few interesting things in the letters pages of The Times from a few months back,” John continues, deeply unsettled, glancing at Holmes. “Accusing Professor Moriarty of murder and blackmail, amongst other things. That’s slander, you realise?”

“So I’ve been told,” says Holmes, drily.

“He is a governmental official. You can’t expect to play with that fire and not get your fingers burnt,” John says, kindly.

“Did you check the feature pages for his articles?” Holmes asks, watching him closely.

“Yes,” says John, “of course.”

“Oh, not as stupid as I thought. And?”

“Well, I didn’t understand all of the higher mathematics, of course,” and Holmes groans in an unimpressed manner, forcing John to nearly shout over the top, “but apparently his criminal theory is revolutionary.”

“Indeed it is,” says Holmes. “And the thing about revolutions is that they always come round again.”

“Come again?” asks John. Holmes snorts.

“Oh, he wants a new order, alright. He wants one where his criminals run rings around the police worse than they do now, and where everyone is still convinced the streets are safer thanks to him.” Holmes spits the words, his fingers dancing through the air as swiftly as his voice. “And he’s going to get it. He’s going to twist his little words and numbers into the ears of those in charge and make them dance, and show them how much easier everyone will be to control when they’re afraid, and he’s going to get it.”

“Right. Because he’s a criminal mastermind.” John is unimpressed, and his voice and his posture show it. Holmes slams his hand on the table in irritation.

“You see, you’re as dense as the rest of them! Why do you think they put me in here? Why did they bribe, blackmail and con the world into forgetting I ever existed? Why did my brother, a high ranking government official, think I would be safer in incarceration than at large?”

“Because you’re attempting to slander one of the world’s most important men, and that tends to make enemies?” John asks, sardonically. Holmes leans right in, grips tightly onto John’s sleeve, tight enough to bruise.

“No, Doctor Watson,” he hisses. “Because I know the truth. And it isn’t my safety he’s worried about.”

*

John is quiet that night over dinner. Jim notices later, when he’s finished washing up the plates, and is lying on the sofa with his head in Jim’s lap, staring intently at nothing at all.

“I thought maybe we could go out tomorrow, my dear,” Jim says, running his fingers through John’s short, shaggy hair. “We haven’t been out in ages.”

John makes a non-committal grunt, because he didn’t really hear.

“I mean, Christ, most men our age, they’re out raving it up on Friday nights. Not that I’m not inordinately fond of Mock the Week and pizza, but…” Jim sighs. “My dear Watson, you’re not listening.”

“Mmm,” agrees John, still glaring a few inches in front of his nose, and then, when Jim tweaks a strand of hair between his fingers, “sorry, what?”

“Are you still thinking about that bloody interfering lunatic of yours?” Jim snaps.

“He’s not a lunatic,” says John, automatically, because even though they’ve only known each other a few months they’ve already had this argument more times than he can count, “and I don’t think he’s mad, either.”

Jim looks down at his lover critically. “He thinks he’s a genius detective, John,” he sighs.

“Well, perhaps he is.” John isn’t really aware of the words that he’s saying; feel s like he’s floating somewhere else, in some other world where the events of the last few days make sense. It is because of this that he does not see, as he sits up, Jim’s beautiful slim face contort only for a second into a vicious, bestial snarl.

“I’m sorry,” John sighs, and as suddenly as it arrived, it is gone, replaced by the gentle, teasing face John has grown to love. “He’s getting to me, that’s all.”

Jim pops an arm around John’s shoulder and kisses the side of his head. “Maybe you should talk about transferring him?”

“No, no, that’s just passing the problem on. The buck stops here,” says John, reluctantly, and then, more tentative still, “And what would you do, if you did believe a patient’s delusions?”

Jim is silent for a second. “I guess I’d get myself checked out,” he says, slowly. “Or I’d look at how logical they are.”

John nods, then reaches into his briefcase, hanging off the end of the sofa. “Have a look at these,” he says, slamming the photocopies of the Sunday Times Magazine down on the coffee table. “I’m going to take a shower.” He kisses Jim once on the lips before sloping off.

Alone in the room, Jim picks up the photocopies, and tilts his head to one side, reading them with an odd, amused expression on his face.

THE PEOPLE PROBLEM with JAMES MORIARTY
How maths can solve a murder, and why the police are doing it wrong…

Professor James Moriarty: the man, the genius, the legend. The youngest person to ever hold the prestigious title of Oxford Professor of Mathematics, and now Governmental Advisor on Law and Order, his new book attempts to work out the solution to the most tricky equation of his career… How do you make people behave?

The Sunday Times Magazine is proud to bring you this exclusive interview with the great man himself, who agreed to exchange a series of emails with Jennifer Adams, our Science Editor.


There are no photos of the subject of the interview, of course; he famously refuses photographs, face-to-face interviews, and even teaching except by Skype. The public has alternately called him reclusive, paranoid, and too bloody clever for his own good. Nobody outside the highest echelons of government could recognise him by face.

ST: Perhaps you could summarise the book then, for the laymen among us.
JM: If I did that, I don’t suppose I’d sell many copies. But essentially it uses number theory applied to crime statistics, examining why crime is on the up, and how by focusing on the bigger picture and not the details the police can make statistics go down.

ST: Your work’s already been adapted into the new governmental schemes for the Metropolitan Police. How will this help?
JM: It is highly unhelpful to theorise with insufficient data. Like any theory, mine needs a basis in reality, and when the public sees how much safer the streets are when they stick to the rules of Compliance Theorem, it will be far easier to sell to other governments.

ST: You’re hoping to extend your reach beyond Britain, then?
JM: Oh, yes. First Britain, then the world. Of course, I should point out, it’s not my reach, but the reach of a safer society.

ST: Can you tell us anything about the personal life of a genius?
JM: Oh... well, I enjoy collecting shoes. A slightly odd habit, perhaps, but I got started on it young and haven’t been able to ‘kick’ it since.


Jim cringes upon reading the last line. It is obvious to him, of course, that the theory will work. It is also obvious to him that the numbers are lying; they are a blind, a violently obvious one. He knows it was obvious to his boyfriend too.

He picks up John’s briefcase again, slides the sheets back inside, when his eyes glance over the paper on the top. He picks it up. It’s written in orange felt tip, and he recognises the handwriting like he recognises his own.

He can stop you too, doctor. Stop your heart.

Jim chuckles to himself, and slips the paper back into the briefcase.

John, standing in the half light of the corridor, sees all this, and says nothing.

*

Holmes has not said a word for three days, not one thing since John got back from the weekend, and John is starting to worry.

“You have to eat something, Sherlock,” he says as kindly as he can. Holmes, staring viciously at the wall, does not respond. John pushes the toast a little closer. “We’re being as understanding as we can, Holmes. If this is some kind of hunger strike – if there’s something you’re not comfortable with, you have to tell us.”

Holmes does not even move, and John finds himself wishing the man would snap at him, say something sarcastic or brutal or lash out somehow.

“Come on, Holmes, I believe you,” he says, quietly.

The silence and the stillness are choking in the light, bright room. John reaches across, stops his hand just short of touching Holmes’.

“You wanted to stop him doing terrible things, Sherlock, didn’t you? And your brother… he’s involved?”

There is a tiny flinch on the world ‘brother’; small enough that it could have been a blink, or an itch.

“He put you in here to stop you hurting Moriarty, didn’t he? Because he needs Moriarty? Because the entire government is scared of him, or relying on him. Because his plan's going to work.”

Holmes’ eyes meet his, just for a second, and he jerks his chair backwards, away from John’s.

“Sherlock,” whispers John, “what did he do to you?”

Holmes whimpers, and closes his eyes tight shut, screwing them up, refusing to look. John is standing and crossing to him in a minute. “I believe you,” he murmurs, and he snatches Holmes’ hand, holds it firm whilst his patient shakes, “I believe you, I believe you. Come on. Back from the deep end, come on.”

Eventually, a lifetime later, Holmes opens his eyes.

“I don’t trust… this,” he mutters, rubbing his hands against his head like he wants to tear the hair out by the roots, “It’s like he’s drowning out the sense, diluting it. I can’t trust it anymore. How can I work if I can’t trust this? It’s all I am.”

“You don’t think you’re right?” asks John, trying so hard to understand.

“Yes, I’m right, of course I’m right,” Holmes whispers back, half to himself, “but lunatics always think they’re right, don’t they?”

John moves his hand to Holmes’ shoulder, and lightly rubs it.

“I don’t think you’re a lunatic, Holmes,” he says, and is worried to find he means it.

“Why would you?” Holmes replies, sounding so very tired. “Lunatics never do.”

*

Holmes has been destroyed. This much John is certain of, now. Somewhere, at some point in the last few days, somebody broke him.

John brings the security guard a cup of tea, checks the visitors’ records, fast forwards through the CCTV footage, and finally finds it. A three hour gap, in the dead of night, where Holmes is missing from his bed, and nobody seems to know a thing about it.

He tries to bring it up with Holmes, but he is washed out; will say nothing except for snapping about how irritating the other patients are, and, briefly, about how he finds the room too cold. John promises to get him some blankets.

He is climbing into his car at the end of the day when someone leans forward from the back seat.

“Just drive, Doctor Watson,” says a gruff voice, and something cold presses into the back of his head. “Don’t look behind you.”

He does.

The person clearly knows that once a soldier, always a soldier; that’s why he’s sat far back enough that he can’t reach him, and whilst a lesser man would snap under the pressure John simply drives, following the barked directions to a lonely, muddy track, under a bridge.

“Get out, Doctor Watson,” says the voice, and he climbs out on steady legs.

He is not hugely surprised to see the hospital’s largest benefactor smiling at him.

“Doctor Watson,” the man holding the umbrella says with an insipid smile.

“Mr Holmes,” says John, pointedly not looking behind him.

“My dear fellow, by all means call me Mycroft.”

John does not particularly want to, but then he is not the one with the gun.

“Is there a reason you’ve brought me here, Mycroft?” he asks politely.

Mycroft smiles, and as the skies open with a growl and a light drizzle descends he opens his umbrella, steps forwards so his chest is touching John’s, and holds it over both their heads.

“I understand you have taken an interest in my brother. It appears his delusions are contagious; they have managed to affect you as well.”

“I’m simply-,” John starts, but Mycroft continues as if he hasn’t spoken.

“It is such a strange thing. His last doctor suffered the same fate. Quite tragic, really, what happened in the end, but people who try to interfere with Sherlock’s issues do seem to end up becoming hospitalised themselves.”

“His last doctor’s been sectioned?” John cannot keep the surprise from his voice, and Mycroft smiles again, indulgently.

“Well,” he says, as the rain spits onto the canvas above them, “when someone will believe the rantings of a madman, who’s to say they’re not mad themselves?”

“And who’s to say they are?”

“Various doctors, medical professionals, eye witnesses… they aren’t hard to procure, Doctor Watson. I do hope I’m making my meaning perfectly clear.”

John lets out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding.

“You want me to back off from Sherlock and just… leave him to rot.”

Mycroft looks appalled. “Oh no, Doctor Watson, not at all. I am thrilled to see that someone is indulging Sherlock’s little mind games. He does, after all, tend to isolate himself. But –” and Mycroft rubs at his cheek once, as if pained, before returning his gaze to John’s eyes “if you make me hurt my brother again because he’s talking, I will have to have you hurt as well, I’m afraid.”

“You’re this desperate to protect Moriarty,” John spits, “you’re despicable.”

The older man raises one delicate arch of an eyebrow. “Professor Moriarty is a valuable tool to the British Government, doctor. I do hope you’re not hoping to spread slander about him. That sort of thing tends to end badly.”

“He’s your brother!” John hisses, standing on tiptoe to get into Mycroft’s face, grabbing at his lapels.

“And as a liability to the security of this state I have been more than kind to him,” Mycroft replies, his face impassive. “I assure you, Doctor Watson, he would not have done me the same favour.”

“You played with his mind this weekend. You broke him.”

“He broke himself. Now please remove your hands from my person.”

Slowly, John does. “He was a detective, then,” he says coldly.

“Oh, yes,” Mycroft replies, checking a pocket watch, “a quite, quite brilliant one. But… naïve.”

Mycroft takes a step back, and the full force of the rain hits John like bullets, plastering his clothes and his hair to his cold skin. Under his umbrella, Mycroft grins like the cat who got the cream.

“Good day to you, Doctor Watson. I do hope we don’t meet again.”

And then he is gone, in the long black car that brought him, gone like he was never there. John climbs back into his own car, soaking and scared, and shivers it all away before he drives back home.

*

That night John waits in his office until everyone else goes home, until even the cleaners have popped their heads round – ‘Oh, sorry, doc, didn’t mean to disturb you’ – and sends an apologetic text to Jim – Working late, sorry, C U 2moro x – and then he sneaks out along the corridor in a porter’s uniform he stole from a locker, hiding his face from every camera.

Holmes is still in the Day Room, which surely isn’t allowed, and he is staring silently out of the window, strips of moonlight across his pale face. He doesn’t turn his head as John comes in.

“I can’t go,” he says, his voice eerily calm. “Where would I go?”

“Anywhere. We’ll go out the back, you just have to help me break the alarms,” says John, desperately coming closer. He does not question how Holmes knows what he’s planning. “Does it matter?”

“Matter?” asks Holmes, “Of course it matters. If the plan doesn’t continue after ‘leave hospital’ then it isn’t a hugely efficient plan. And of course, he will have a plan. He always does. He’s intelligent.”

“Well, you’re the genius, you figure something out.”

Holmes turns to him, and the moonlight gleams in his eyes.

“He has a point,” he says, quietly, “breaking out now, telling the truth, would bring vast amounts of chaos.”

“Jesus, Holmes,” John hisses, “does it matter? We’re talking about corruption of the state by a criminal here!”

“But can you prove it?”

“No,” John admits, “but you can.”

Holmes shakes his head almost indiscernibly.

“What? You must be able to… that’s why you’re in here, surely?”

“I am in ‘here’,” says Holmes icily, “because they didn’t want me becoming able to. Do you honestly think if I had any proof I would stop because they threatened me? I’d consider it a risk worth taking. But right now, they are trying to kill me, and I haven’t had the chance to set up any kind of trap, and that – that, Doctor Watson – is why I am in ‘here’.”

John cannot think of anything to say except “It’s John.”

Holmes sighs. “John, then,” he says, turning back to the window. John sits in the chair next to him, heavy and weak at the same time. In silence, they sit, the healer and the madman, although John’s not sure which is which anymore, and then Holmes breaks the silence, turns to him.

“There were some papers,” he says, almost offhandedly, “in Baker Street. If I could gather them – but no, it needs Lestrade.”

“He said he didn’t know you,” says John, glancing at Holmes.

“He would,” says Holmes with a sigh, “they threatened to kill his children. Why are people so weak?”

“Sorry, you think that’s weak?” John is slightly taken aback; cannot help it.

Holmes tuts between his teeth. “Oh, tch. If he hadn’t agreed to cover up for them they’d never have been able to hold me in here.”

“They threatened to kill his family!”

“They’re only children, for heaven’s sake, it’s not like he’s had much time to get attached.”

For a moment, Holmes seems quiet, and he stares out of the window for a second. John wonders what he’s remembering. The psychiatrist part of him kicks in.

“Did your parents get attached?” he asks, softly. Holmes does not look at him.

“Enough,” he says shortly.

John nods. It is the answer he expected.

“Are we going to do this, then?” asks Holmes suddenly, sitting up.

“Yes,” says John, taken aback, “but I hadn’t really –”

“Oh, please, it’s the work of moments to readjust the alarm system.” And Holmes is on his feet, rubbing his hands together, more alive than John has ever seen him before. He pauses in front of John.

“Will you come?” he asks, “Do you want to get this far in? It’ll be dangerous.”

John considers. “How dangerous?” he asks slowly.

“Almost certainly deadly.”

John thinks about it for a second. But there is only one answer, really, and he knew it all along.

“Oh, god, yes,” he breathes out.

*

They are rushing along a street in North London; no names given or needed. Holmes insists that they have to stay low, and so it is that John does not mention the text he sent as they flagged a taxi on the main road by the hospital, short and desperate, to Jim.

I’m sorry. I love you.

There were no other words, not really. John barks out a laugh, and Holmes, who is agitatedly staring around him, looks irritated.

“What?”

“It just hit me,” says John, “I just broke you out of hospital. I’ve lost my job.”

“And your liberty,” says Holmes, scanning street signs, “but don’t dwell on it now, for goodness’ sake.”

“Shit.” The reality of it hits home, because he cannot go home. If Moriarty is half as powerful as they think he is, there is nobody they can call.

“What are we going to do, Holmes?” he asks, and Holmes holds up a finger.

They have stopped outside a residential house; small, unassuming, the windows dark. Carefully, silently, Holmes climbs over the low wall separating it from the road, and motions for John to do the same.

Cautiously, Holmes tries the lock.

It doesn’t budge.

“Well, what now?” John hisses. Holmes smiles at him, a genuine tear of a smile across his face.

“I didn’t expect it to be unlocked. He’s not a complete idiot – actually, quite clever. But I’m cleverer. And now,” says Holmes, stepping back and looking up at the guttering, “we prove it.”

Five minutes and a depressing amount of climbing later, they find themselves squeezing into an upstairs bathroom. John clambers in after Holmes, and tries not to knock anything over. It is, quite clearly, a family bathroom; kid’s shampoo on a shelf, multiple toothbrushes, razor carefully placed out of arm’s reach.

Holmes moves like a ghost along the landing, avoiding the middle floorboards. Carefully, gently, his hands go to a doorknob, and turn.

The shout comes from nowhere. Inspector Lestrade, wearing only his boxers, slams a gun to John’s skull and shoves him roughly to the ground. “You stay the fuck away from my kids,” he snarls, and it is only because Holmes shouts “Lestrade, no!” that John does not end up painting the whitewashed walls with his blood.

Lestrade does not move the gun, but he pulls back slightly; stares at Holmes like he’s seen a ghost.

“Sherlock…” he tries, but there is a shuffle from behind Holmes’ coat. A young girl emerges, and Lestrade quickly puts the gun behind his back, pulling John from the floor.

“Daddy?” asks the girl sleepily, holding a teddy. “What’s going on?”

Lestrade softens. “Nothing, sweetheart. Go to sleep.”

“Is it time for school?” she asks, leaning on the doorframe, staring at John and Sherlock. John risks a friendly smile.

“No, love – look,” says Lestrade, turning to Holmes, “I’m going to put her back to bed. Did anyone see you?”

Holmes gives him a withering look. “Please, Lestrade, give me some credit.”

“Don’t give me lip, you just broke into my house,” Lestrade snaps, “now go downstairs and wait for me there.”

“Of all the,” begins Holmes, but John grabs at his sleeve, drags him down the stairs.

Lestrade watches them with dark eyes.

*

He makes them coffees in the dingy kitchen as daybreak stains the windows, which John drinks greedily, and Holmes does not touch.

“I’m sorry,” Lestrade says, after a while, and his voice sounds like he’s been screaming.

“If you were sorry, you wouldn’t have done it,” Holmes responds before Lestrade has even finished.

“Jesus, Sherlock, they came after my kids, my wife… what was I supposed to do?”

John does not say anything, lets the bickering wash over him. He feels a vibration in his pocket – Jim, he is sure, ringing to see what the hell is going on – but he ignores it, reaches in to end the call. He feels exhausted, and lost, and part of him wants to pick up the phone and fall into his lover’s arms.

“They tortured me, Sherlock,” Lestrade hisses, “I don’t-”

“Oh, you’re a police officer, Lestrade. You know how to deal with pain.”

“And you’re an arrogant little shit, and you’re not worth my kid’s lives.”

Holmes looks hurt by this, as if the words are somehow worse than the betrayal, but Lestrade’s face is grim. John leans forward.

“Inspector – surely you can see that if Moriarty goes unchecked, the dangers are going to be worse than anything they can threaten you with now. If the government are prepared to deal with a criminal…” John implores him.

“Look, I really do want to,” says Lestrade, “but I can’t. What do you want me to do, hunt him down and arrest him?”

“You’ve got the stuff we were working on together,” says Holmes, “and that’s a start. Help me.”

Lestrade laughs grimly. “Never thought I’d see you asking for help.”

“Never thought I’d be asking for it. Yet here we are. Are you going to redeem yourself, Inspector, or shall we go?”

There is a pause. Lestrade swallows and stands.

“How about both,” he sighs. “Let me put some trousers on, and I’ll… we’ll go and get the papers.”

*

“What are we looking for?” John asks, as Lestrade unlocks the door with his pass.

“Interviews,” Lestrade explains, “evidence, case details… Sherlock came to me, see, with his suspicions, and like an idiot I helped.”

Holmes is already inside the office, rooting around.

“Careful,” Lestrade admonishes.

“But you kept it,” Holmes says, hurriedly, “you kept the file?”

“A copy, yeah – as best as I could.” Lestrade walks over to a filing cabinet, opens it up, and pulls out a file marked ‘Moran’.

“Bit of a poor cover name, his own lieutenant,” says Holmes, raising an eyebrow. Lestrade shrugs, and John feels the frisson of guilt again. The coincidences plague him, and he thinks with a jolt of Jim Moran, his boyfriend. He must be worried sick.

Holmes flicks through, sniffs. “What we need, of course,” he says, “is irrefutable evidence of the man himself. What we need is to meet him.”

“Yeah, well,” says Lestrade, flinging himself down into his chair and rubbing his eyes, “good luck with that if you want to live.”

Out in the corridor, John can hear noises. He edges towards the door, peers out.

“You ought to get going,” says Lestrade, “daytime shift’ll be coming in soon.” Holmes puts the papers back down on the desk, and Lestrade looks at him. “Take them,” he says, surprised.

Holmes shakes his head. “It wouldn’t be safe,” he says.

The footsteps outside are not those of tired policemen. They are soldiers. John looks through a pane of glass and sees men in black. Men with guns.

“Holmes,” he hisses, running back in, “they’ve found us. It’s them. We have to go.”

Holmes looks at Lestrade. For a second, the two men stare at each other with eyes that are older than John can imagine. And then Lestrade nods.

“Good luck,” he says.

“And to you,” says Holmes, grabbing John’s arm.

They run for it as the doors slam open, and the soldiers pour in.

*

They sleep rough, John curled into a ball, ready to spring if need be. A soldier’s instincts die hard.

Holmes, John suspects, does not sleep once, his eyes constantly moving, his hands tapping gently on his leg.

John is shaken roughly awake when the evening comes around, and they keep moving.

*

They make their way by train and by Eurostar out of the country – John isn’t entirely sure how they got through customs, particularly not when Holmes was in one of his moods and could barely speak, and John is even less sure where they are going or why they are going there.

“Surely,” he says, “they’ll know where we’re going.”

And Holmes smiles grimly and says “I’m counting on it.”

John’s mobile fills up with texts and missed calls from everyone he knows, but most importantly, Jim, who leaves messages filled with worry and fear. John cannot, will not reply. Holmes sees him checking it one evening, and before John can hastily stow it away, he snatches it.

“I warned you about him,” he says, glaring, “he’s not safe at all.”

“So you said.”

It has been a long day, and they were nearly shot in Prague. John is not in the mood.

“I’m a psychiatrist, Holmes,” says John wearily, “I think I’d be able to tell if my boyfriend was a sociopath.”

“Oh, please, you took the wrong specialisation in clinical school,” says Holmes derisively, rapidly scrolling through John’s inbox. “And isn’t it considered a mark of sociopathy that the individuals are excellent liars?”

John concedes that it is so.

“How long have you know him, John? Three months? If that?”

“Have you got any concrete reason for hating him?” John asks suddenly.

“Hate him?” Holmes looks surprised. “I don’t hate him, John. That’s far more emotional reaction than such an insignificant character in our lives is worth.” John is about to protest that Jim is not insignificant, but Holmes carries on over the top of him. “But I don’t trust him either, and I’d feel safer knowing you didn’t.”

John shakes his head. “I can’t do that.”

“No, I know.” Holmes views him critically. “And you can’t trust me, either.”

“I trust you,” John lies. Holmes tuts.

“Then when,” he says softly, “are you going to start thinking of me as Sherlock?”

There is a pause in which John feels equal parts embarrassed and shocked. A shortlived pause, however, because there is an explosion further up the train, and screaming, and the carriage they are in starts to shake.

“Alright then, Sherlock,” says John softly, “why am I still keeping this phone?”

Holmes – Sherlock - looks at him. “Because they’re tracking it, of course,” he says with a grin. “Come on, hurry up, John. Jump out of the window.”

*

John has never been to Switzerland before; he tended to find himself in more hostile, desert like places in his youth, but Sherlock apparently speaks German fluently, as well as the bit of Croatian he needed to get a room in the dingy hotel they are staying in.

Sherlock is starting to calm down a little now; the mad light in his eyes that scared John so much dimming to a steady burn, and he looks so alive that he makes John feel like living.

“How long are we staying here?” asks John, tiredly, coming out from a lukewarm shower.

“Long enough,” Sherlock responds.

“Sherlock,” says John, choosing his words carefully, “how do you know he’s chasing us?”

Sherlock looks up. “Have you somehow missed the hitmen, John?” he asks.

“But how do you know it’s going to help us catch him?”

“Oh, because he was bored, and because we’re in his way, and he’s had enough,” smiles Sherlock, devilishly. John, after much thought, decides not to argue with the lunatic.

They go for a walk in the mountains. The air is icy, and it stings as John breathes in and hurts as he breathes out, but the sky is clear and the trails are cool and it is nice, so nice not to be running for their lives.

“It must have occurred to you, John, that I could have escaped at any point.”

They rest on a rock overlooking the entire world and drink coffee hot enough to burn from a thermos flask.

“No, you couldn’t. You needed me,” says John simply.

He has not thought about Jim for three days, and he knows he should probably feel more guilty.

*

When the young boy arrives, tearing up the path shouting “Entschuldigen sie! Entschuldigen sie bitte!” John turns, his hand automatically going for the gun that Sherlock stole from one of the corpses they’ve left. Sherlock is the one to steady him with a gentle hand. This is, John thinks, probably the wrong way round.

Sherlock speaks to him in fluent, rapid German, and it is clear that the boy is in some distress.

“What is it?” asks John, confused. Sherlock shakes his head, and John knows he is trying to understand, that he does not want John to speak. Sherlock is muttering something under his breath that sounds like a mantra or sums.

“Please, Herr Doctor,” the boy says in pleading English, “come,” and he takes John’s hand and tugs.

“An old English woman’s fallen ill at the hotel,” says Sherlock, “and she needs a doctor.”

“Well, she’ll have to find someone else, I can’t just-”

“Go, John,” says Sherlock, and his eyes are quite, quite still. “Go and do what you do best.”

“I’m a psychiatrist,” says John, feeling quite lost.

“Any doctor fine,” insists the boy.

“You’ve had medical training. You speak English. Go, John.” Sherlock takes his hand, and for just one moment, holds it.

John lets the hand drop, and nods.

The boy tugs at John, “Please,” he says, urgently, and they rush down the path.

“Hey!" calls Sherlock, after them, and the boy turns around, looking horrified. "Wartet er?" Sherlock inclines his head further up the path. “Am Reichenbachfall?”

The boy nods nervously. John wishes he knew what Sherlock asked, but knows better than to enquire, not now, not when someone’s life depends on him.

Sherlock smiles.

John is pulled down the path by a desperately fleeing, terrified child, and he barely has time to turn round, to see Sherlock straightening up decisively and breathing in before following the path up the mountainside.

*

On the way down, hurried as it is, he thinks he sees Jim behind one of the trees. It is a shock, a violent illusion of the light no doubt, but it shakes him to the core, and by the time he reaches the foot of the mountain, he is sweating.

*

Of course, the hotel is near deserted; as John approaches, he cannot help but hate himself, knows he should have stayed with Sherlock. The hotel manager is apologetic – as best as he can be – but he clearly  has no idea what the mad Englishman is talking about. As the man patiently explains in broken English that there is no emergency, the certainty hits suddenly that John, preoccupied though he has been, did not realise the manager had a son.

He spins around, but the boy has vanished into the ether, along with any illusions John had. “Shit,” he hisses, and he runs, runs like his legs have never been injured, runs like he hasn’t since the war, runs uphill like it’s downhill until his legs buckle and he stands, panting, where he left Sherlock last.

There are footsteps, painfully obvious ones, leading off the beaten track, and John follows them with a heavy heart to a cliff.

He hears the roaring of the falls before he sees them; a screaming and a thudding in his ears makes him feel he might explode, and the skies are staring to grey, and through the trees he sees a white blur.

“Shit,” he whispers again, although he’s not sure if it comes out aloud, and he edges along the cliff.

There is a coat hanging on a jutting rock, and he knows it far too well; it has been emblazoned in his mind since the first day he saw it, and the man who wears it too. But now it looks lost, smaller, empty. He reaches for it, and sees the phone in the pocket. One new text message, it says.

John’s fingers feel thick and clumsy as he reaches for it, drowning.

My dear Doctor Watson,

I am afraid I was right. He is, at last, here. I knew he was here, and if you will forgive me, you did too. And as it transpires, your lover’s name is not Jim Moran. It is, as it happens, Jim Moriarty. How like him, to have been so near and yet so far! I would not trust him, therefore, John, particularly not if he is still alive – because if he is alive, John, he’s killed me. Head above the waves, John, and good luck.

I will not see you again, but he and I shall take each other out – and perhaps, the world will be better without both of us. But you were also right, John, in one thing – perhaps the most important thing - you were right, and I was very, very wrong.

I did, in fact, need you.

I remain, John, yours.

Sherlock Holmes.


*

The waterfall is still pounding in his ears, but John can hear none of that. There is only silence, a deafening, swirling, horrible silence, and the entire world seems to shatter with it into an empty blankness.

He should feel angry, should feel sad, should feel lost or alone, but in the end, all he feels is empty. An empty house, with nobody home.

He peers over the edge into the swirling abyss, hoping to see – what? Sherlock clinging on with his fingertips? Jim’s corpse? Oh god, no… and just like that, the anger wells up, a red hot searing pain before the eyes and in his skull, anger at Jim and Sherlock and all of it, and he wants to kill.

But there is nobody there, and the man he wants to kill is already dead.

So he screams.

*

John makes his way back to England by plane – he doesn’t see the point in hiding anymore. When the customs officer in the airport says “Would you mind stepping this way for a moment, sir?”, he doesn’t resist, although his muscles tense and for one moment, he isn’t sure whether fight or flight will kick in.

He is unsurprised when the holding cell contains Mycroft, wearing a black suit, looking solemn.

“Don’t,” says John, and it’s the first thing he’s said aloud in a week. His voice is hoarse. “Just – don’t.”

“My commiserations, Doctor Watson. I understand Sherlock and you were close.”

Mycroft’s face is unreadable, like his brother’s, and John isn’t going to waste his time trying with this one. Of course, he knows that his brother’s splintered bones are lying at the bottom of a waterfall, and he knows too that the man who put them there is lying with him, his own wreck indistinguishable from the corpse of the detective.

Mycroft knows – he must know – that this is in part his fault, and he must also know that it is in part John’s. But he does not look like a man who breaks easily, and aside from a slight tremor in his hand as he wipes his brow with a handkerchief, he could be the same man who threatened John a month earlier.

John shrugs. It is easier, somehow, than getting angry.

“There is the small matter of the criminal record you have acquired,” says Mycroft, and he turns over a page of the file on the desk in front of him. “Whilst you will be pleased to know that I have advised the government to abandon the concept of Moriarty’s Compliance Theorem…”

“If you’re going to kill me,” says John, irritated, “just do it, please.”

Mycroft looks at him, and John can see that the surprise is, for once, genuine.

“Kill you?” he says, shocked, his voice suddenly thicker. “No, no, John.”

He stands up, and holds out one hand. John looks at it, uncomprehending.

“Not enough people understood my brother,” says Mycroft, hoarsely. “You helped him when others didn’t.”

“When you didn’t.” John does not take the hand.

Mycroft does not look surprised.

“No,” he says, heavily, “when I didn’t.” He straightens up. “Good bye, Doctor Watson. Good luck with your life. I understand there is a partnership in a psychiatric practice for sale in New Cavendish Street, which I think you may be able to afford.”

“I doubt it,” says John, knowing full well that the Harley Street area is out of his league.

“Perhaps you should try,” says Mycroft coldly. “My brother’s phone. May I have it?”

For one instant, staring at this man he hates so much, John considers refusing. But Mycroft looks so much older, and John, quite frankly, wants rid of this whole thing so much he would quite happily rip his skin off to be reborn. He needs to be washed clean. He reaches into his coat, pulls it out, slips it into Mycroft’s hand.

“Thank you.”

Mycroft leaves with his suited men, and John is too tired to cry.

*

Eventually, in his new practice, John acclimatises. He has a full list of patients, all prepared to pay private, and if he misses the hospital he never mentions it. Jim never calls again, and in time, John comes to believe the message Sherlock left, comes to believe the horrible truth.

He does not date again for far too long.

He runs into Lestrade, once, when he is skulking around in that way that the public are wont to do at crime scenes, outside a bombed out shop, and the two of them have nothing to say to each other, which is the worst thing of all. John enquires after Lestrade’s daughter, and Lestrade asks how John’s work is going, and then they leave it at that.

Lestrade has burned the papers. There is no point to them now.

At night, in his rooms, in the bar, in the office, John is empty now. He stands, alone, on the brink of a cliff, and there is no path back down.

There is only ever the edge, and the rushing falls, and the white foam, and somewhere, the bones of a man who was not mad. He can feel himself drowning, far too slowly.

And someday, John knows, he’ll jump, and maybe fall. But for today, he manages to stay above the waves.

Sherlock would want him to.

And after all, he's just treading water, one day at a time.

*

[with sincere thanks to [info]ourdramaqueen for correcting my less than excellent knowledge of German.]

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Comments

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pennypaperbrain
Mar. 17th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
What a great AU! I'm surprised there aren't a pile of comments. Everyone is perfectly IC, Sherlock in particular, which is hard to do. I really felt his frustration at being wrongly institutionalised, and the ways in which he is actually broken, while still not mad. Moving.
interesting_gin
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much; I'm glad you liked it.
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