8th January, 2013
It’s always different in the daylight.
Sherlock watches the light track across the ceiling. John is asleep next to him. At first, half on top of him, head nestled into Sherlock’s shoulder. Their skin is cooling in the air, and the light on the ceiling is artificial- streetlamps and tracking headlights of cars.
Later, John has rolled over, is breathing heavy and well into sleep. The edges of the room are lightening. Sun, somewhere, is coming up, hidden still behind buildings and trees, a subtle change in the sky.
Sherlock doesn’t usually need to sleep if he doesn’t want to. Tonight, he wanted to. As John’s skin was cooling from sweat-slicked heat under his hands, he wanted to sleep. Guilt was worming its way up from under his ribcage, instead.
It was easy to delete useless information. Information regarding John was a different story entirely. Sherlock cataloged and saved everything about John and was unable to stop. Sentiment.
Sherlock closed his eyes, blocking out the slowly lightening sun, and was greeted by memories instead. Pointing a gun at John, nightmares nipping at the heels of his vision. John’s disappointment. John’s silence. The ache between them. Guilt.
Eventually, when the ceiling is well lit with sunlight, birds chirping, Sherlock slides out of bed. The nice day seems specifically contrary to his mood. He glances down at John, relaxed into the bed. Covers tangled between his legs. Sherlock’s chest tightens painfully.
Sherlock dresses, head to toe in well tailored black. He knows John will likely come out in only pyjama bottoms, sleep mussed and relaxed. He’ll probably smile while he makes tea. Sherlock feels like he’s armouring himself as he does up his buttons.
He sighs and heads to the kitchen, pokes his head into the fridge and cupboards, pulling out whatever he can find. He cranks the knob on the stove, puts out pans. Mixes, chops, stirs. By the time John wakes up, there is a mostly done omelette in the pan, replete with cheese and bell peppers. John is deeply surprised, if his expression is anything to go by.
“Did someone abduct you in the night and switch your brain?” John asks, pleasant. He runs a hand absently across Sherlock’s lower back as he passes him to the cupboards. Sherlock freezes as it happens, an ache spreading through his chest. He turns and smiles winningly at John, but doesn’t trust himself to respond.
John holds up a mug and silently asks Sherlock if he’s interested. He nods, and turns away. Busies himself with cooking. It’s always different in the daylight.
Sherlock would give anything for it to be different.
He sets the table, John provides the tea. Sherlock eats toast, and a quarter of the omelette off John’s plate. There was only 3 eggs. John makes appreciative noises and small talk. His feet keep finding Sherlock’s under the table.
When they both finish, Sherlock clears the plates to the sink.
“Got a case?” John asks, nodding at Sherlock’s clothes, “It’s only 9.”
Sherlock looks down at himself, then out the window. Considers the sunlight, the incessant chirping of a bird outside. Doesn’t bother to categorize the birdcall which disturbs him. Too distracted. Even worse.
Sherlock turns and faces John, steady now, grips the counter behind him surreptitiously.
“I can’t be with you, John.” I love you too much.
John goes very still. His mug is halfway to his mouth, which is set in a very hard line. Sherlock recalls very vividly exactly how that mouth tastes and feels. He imagines how it would taste now. He waits for John to say something. He is pretty sure that’s the correct thing to do.
John doesn’t speak.
Sherlock, impatient, ventures to repeat himself a bit more clearly.
“I can’t be with you.” He pauses, waits for a response, then: “I’m going to get you killed.”
Sherlock’s heart is pounding. John doesn’t seem to have a response, and is just watching Sherlock with a very measured gaze. Sherlock turns back towards the window.
“I almost killed you, myself.”
“It’s one thing to protect me, as a lover or a friend.”
“I love you now, though, and it’s distracting, and I almost killed you.”
“So I can’t do this anymore. We can’t be together.”
“I’ll leave by the end of the day.”
Silence. Breathe in.
It’s always different in the daylight.
(via Tall and Tailored)