A birthday photo-ficlet for Erin (two-harts).
Sherlock came back into the lab from the street outside. Nearly everything was ready.
John hadn’t stirred.
Sherlock’s eyes scanned the room once more and lingered for a moment on Molly’s desk. When he saw her camera there, he knew what he needed to do.
He didn’t have time for it.
He didn’t have time, full stop.
But it would be the one luxury he’d allow himself if the worst should happen, and dying was certainly not the worst. The worst would be living without John, knowing John was deceived and in pain each day.
He stepped slowly over to the desk where John slept with his head resting on folded arms. Unconscious, unaware, trusting, ready.
Tight focus on the left shoulder and bicep. Underneath was the scar, and next to the scar, John’s strong, sure muscles. Pain and strength together. Survival.
Focus on closed eyes. Soft creases at the corners. Long eyelashes the colour of honey in sunlight. Not moving. Not dreaming. Not yet.
Fight against the dreams when they come, John.
Focus on one loosely-closed fist. Blunt fingers. Strong, skilled, impossibly gentle. The hands of a doctor, a healer.
Be gentle with them when they try to help, John. Be gentle with yourself when you start to break. Try to let yourself heal.
He put the camera down, scribbled a note with Mycroft’s number and the words “Please. Thank You.” underneath.
He shrugged out of his coat, removed his scarf, sat down again, rested his heels on the worktop, took out his phone and started a new text.
“It’s time. Send the call to John.”
Photo edit by (two-harts).