The Baskerville Possibility
It was springtime and that always means: it's time to clean the flat.
Sherlock was complaining. He did not see why it was necessary to go through all their stuff and sort things into 'keep', 'store' and 'garbage'. It took John a couple of hours to explain and when he finally compared it with Sherlocks mind palace, he could move his partner to participate in cleaning.
They had done half of the sitting room, when John found a sketch. Smiling at it he sat down in his chair, eyes and mind far away for a moment. Minutes passed before he realized, that Sherlock was heavily complaining about him sitting down.
"Relax, love.", he said and put the sketch into the box labeled 'store'.
"What is that? Why are you smiling like that?"
"Just a memory."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
"There is no such thing as JUST a memory.", he said placing himself onto Johns lap. The doctor gave a short groan since he could feel every bone of Sherlock on his thighs. But the smile did not vanish.
"You know I can be a lot heavier if you don't tell me.", the detective said, sounding almost like a sulky child.
John gave a sigh and looked at his friend rather annoyed than embarrassed. He slowly put his arms around the tall man and looked into his sky clear eyes.
"Please?", he said not sure about how to punctuate the word. But his look was quite clear to the doctor who was not able to resist. He placed a short kiss on the soft lips before him.
"Fine, you won… again.", he mumbled and looked into a very pleased face. He rolled his eyes, while his hand fished for the sketch again.
Sherlock was a little puzzled by the look of it.
"Nope. A hound."
"That was what you remembered?"
"Anything I should know?", the detective asked in a low voice. He had found a very comfortable position now, where he was rolled up like a cat in Johns arms, his head resting on the doctors shoulder.
"Well… I am not quite sure."
"No way out now, tell me!", Sherlock insisted.
"It's more a confession then… I guess."
"Even more interesting."
John took a deep breath. For a second he thought about asking Sherlock to go first. It was his turn to share a memory after all. But maybe this one was special.
"Promise you won't be mad."
"Why should I?"
"Just do so."
"Ok, I promise."
One hand slid into the dark curls while the other rested warm on Sherlocks back just inches over his bun.
Another deep breath. The smell of his friend was calming and a smile came back to Johns lips.
"I did not see a hound or a dog back in the laboratories. I did not hear the heavy breathing of a monster. I heard and saw something else."
The smile got a bit wider.
"Baskerville was not a mystery to me. I had been in the army, I knew their ways. Shortly after we gathered the first pieces of data, I was sure we had to handle a hallucinogen."
"No way!", Sherlock almost shouted and rose a little out of his position.
"I told you, it's more a confession. I can stop now if you get angry… or…"
"No… no… I promised. Go on.", Sherlock said, a little confused and leaned against his dear friend again.
"I even realized that Sherlock figured out it has to be the sugar. I nevertheless drank the coffee. A rather stupid thing to do, but I already knew at this point. I knew my feelings and there was no way I could fight them. So I volunteered as a lab rat."
John made a short break. But the breathing of his friend was calm again. He was listening, eyes half open and giving in to the guidance through old memories by John.
"Yet, when the fog hit me and the substance started to take effect, I did not see a big gigantic hound. Nor did I hear it. There was only Sherlock and his heavy breathing. Sherlock crawling through the lab, badly injured and breathing his last breath before death.
I was unable to help him. I was so scared of the pure sight of his wounded body, that I had to hide.
I never felt so much relieve as in this particular moment.
The moment he drew the curtain back and looked at me with curios eyes. All alive and vital. I almost cried and it took my quite some strength to not throw myself into his arms. Instead I yelled at him and told him, what he wanted to hear. I almost broke my own heart with that.
While I lived through my own fear I was very close to tell him. Just kneel before him and tell him how I feel. Just say: I love you."
A low sob interrupted the doctor and he looked at Sherlock in surprise. Tears in his eyes the tall man pressed his face against Johns shoulder trying to get a hold on himself again. A gentle smile appeared on Johns lips and his fingers stroke the back of Sherlocks head with slow movements.
"Go on please…", Sherlock whispered voiceless, not lifting his face a bit.
John was a little puzzled when Sherlock interrupted him again all of a sudden. The detective slowly lifted his head and looked directly into Johns eyes. A shiver went down his spine, but he did return the look.
Minutes passed, but John knew exactly what was about to happen and he knew every second, minute or even hour was worth it. He would wait a day for that exact situation.
"I love you, too.", Sherlock finally said in a low voice but without breaking the look. Tears appeared in Johns eyes immediately and he pressed a kiss onto Sherlocks lips. It was only the third time that he had said this, replied those three words. And it meant a lot to John.
Usually their story telling went on, until both men were aroused by a new version of events. But this time was different.
Since this was real.
This very bit of memory was real and still new to Sherlock.
It was a very special moment for John, who wanted to confess this a long time ago, but never got down to it.
Their lips parted again and Sherlock leaned his forehead against Johns, his eyes still closed.
"Thank you, John.", he whispered in a warm voice.
"Thank you for everything."