"I know there’s nothing wrong with it, but then you sometime care what your family thinks." Molly gave him a sad smile. "I know you try not to need anyone John, but sometimes you do. Everyone does at some point no matter what."
Molly’s chest tightened. He was trying to reassure her and yet he himself….Flatmates? Oh, John and Sherlock had never had a reason to be over at her flat or know more than what they saw, nor ask for further information than what they needed.
"Flatmates?" Molly’s brows furrowed and she laughed softly. "I don’t have any flatmates John, unless a cat counts. I’m sure Toby would be more than happy to see another face besides mine."
She placed a hand on his shoulder again. “Let’s try and get you cleaned up then, get you some food and maybe it will at least feel infinitesimally better. Maybe hold back on the drinks a bit?”
He gritted his jaw, hating the idea that he needed anyone. They’d all betrayed him, and killed Sherlock. Why did he need any of them? He bawked then, shaking his head and turning on his head, as if he was going to leave, but he couldn’t take that step away that the angry, vicious part of him wanted to take. How quickly his anger had risen up - it scared him, if only a little. Of course, at second thought, it had been his anger that had kept him alive this long. Anger at the people who’d done this, anger at himself for not doing more, and anger even at Sherlock, for killing himself over stupid people. It wasn’t much, but it was what he had.
And Molly. He had Molly.
Slowly, he turned back to her and shook his head bashfully. “I’m much more of a dog person, I think Toby will be quite put out,” he told her awkwardly, trying to move away from the episode he’d just had. “I can’t promise anything. And I hope you’l respect that, Molly. But thank you… Just this once, I’ll try.”
It didn’t take a man of his intellect to know just what it was John needed to take care of. Sherlock ignored the thought, knowing it would only lead to trouble. No experience, usually no desire, but something about him… the mystery of him… always the opposite of what you’d expect. Giggles after killing a man, shouts when I forget the milk. Gets mad when I’m a little cold to a witness, or a client, but chins the Chief Superintendent when he makes off-colour remarks about me. Steel, hidden beneath wool, a man who never lays his full deck out for people to see. Beautiful. Brilliant, for an ordinary man- no, more than ordinary, simply not me.
"John," he said, his voice low and thick, vibrating through the mattress.
Sherlock pulled his pillow closer and rested his cheek against it, as if it were perfectly normal. You slept better with him, you can’t deny that. It wasn’t much, but it was less fitful than your short rests alone. Every breath drew in the doctor’s scent, marred by the sting of alcohol. It was easy, though, to delete the thread of liquor, to block it from his mind until there was simply John. His cologne, his deodorant, the cheap shampoo he used, tea and jam and gunpowder. John.
He fell asleep dreaming of running through the streets with the doctor by his side, just like they used to. The ends of his dreams, however, were different than he’d grown accustomed to. These ended with brick walls pressed into backs and heated breath blown to a fog in the cold London air.
John finished his shower in record time after he’d taken care of business, and clambered out of the shower a little clumsily, before he realised he didn’t have any clean clothes downstairs. He sighed a little loudly and wrapped his dressing gown tighter around his still dripping body, and climbed slowly the stairs back up to his room with the aid of his cane.
When he pushed open his door as quietly as possible, he was struck by how at peace Sherlock appeared in his bed. True to form, he was as stretched out as possible, his right foot hanging off the end of the bed, his left knee curled up at his side. And to John’s amusement, and slight confusion, his flatmate’s arms were wrapped around his pillow, which had buried his pale face into the mounds, leaving barely his nose out for breathing. John watched him for a good three minutes, and found himself desiring to walk over and press a brief kiss on his exposed cheekbone. Once that thought crossed his mind, and he realised that he was all too close, with a hand stretched out to thread through his dark locks, he shook his head and limped over to his dresser to pull out a pair of jeans and a jumper, and some clean pants, and then left Sherlock again to sleep in peace.
It was several hours later, and a cuppa (with a little brandy mixed in), that John heard any movement from upstairs. He adjusted his laptop on his lap and stretched his leg, and then turned the telly on, putting the volume up slightly louder than absolutely necessary, if only to keep his mind off of the lanky warm body in his bed up above him.