i have to do this now. if i don’t, i’ll never forgive myself. he’s waited too long for me just to have me give up only a few meters from our front door.
i can do this.
i step out onto the pavement that lines our lamp-lit street. my feet move slowly, my brain begging them to stop but my heart urging them to just go, go, go.
three doors left. then two. i reach the stoop and i suddenly realize that i don’t know what to say. but what do you say to a man who believes you abandoned him for more than two years?
i’m standing directly over him now, able to do nothing but force the threatening tears from my eyes. i see his jaw clench, and for a moment he trembles. but then he climbs slowly to his feet, accidentally bumping the teacup and spilling the delicious brew all over the concrete.
and he just looks at me. his eyes are those of a man who has spent many a day crying, glassy and tinged with a redness that only comes from wiping away too many tears. he reaches a hand towards my face, fingers shaking. he falters for a moment, sure he has been fooled. but then he closes the distance and runs his thumb over my lips then up and over my cheeks, taking in every inch of me with his deep, brown eyes. i catch his gaze in my own. “John---”
suddenly his expression turns to one of rage and he slams his other fist into my face, knocking me to the pavement. “Damn you, Sherlock!” he screams. “How could you do this to me?” i pull myself to my feet, ignoring the blood that now spills from my lips. “John, I’m sorry,” i start, but he won’t let me finish.
“You left me!” he shouts angrily, shoving his finger in my face. “How could you---” his voice chokes, a sob caught in his throat. he presses his hands up against his face. “I buried you, Sherlock,” he whispers. “My best friend---” he tries to finish, but his heart won’t let him. he stumbles into my arms and i hold him close, burying my tear-streaked face in the warmth of his jumper. i feel him shudder a few times, and his fingers dig into my sides as though to keep me from disappearing. “Sherlock?” he murmurs, voice small. i run a hand through his greying hair. “I’m here, John.” he pulls back and takes hold of my wrist. fear is written clearly on his face. “Don’t leave me,” he says, eyes pleading. “Never,” i whisper, and he allows himself to be pulled back into my arms. “Promise?” He says as an afterthought, his breath warm against my neck. i hold him even tighter and kiss him lightly on the forehead.