Note: Part of the Slash Advent Calendar Challenge situated at:
NOT ALL ROOMS ARE EMPTY
Watson could never pinpoint exactly when it had started; that is, started to come to the light. He remembered the beginning of the long separation, when the business of his practice kept him from realizing that it wasnt just a few days he would be spending in dearth of his dear friend. Then he remembered the vague empty feeling that had followed, where he had wanted to come home and share a story and a drink with someone, only to find no someone there. He tried to make closer friends with some of his more amiable colleagues, but he found them not at all what he was looking for. There was no one, simply no one, like Holmes.
Then the dreams started. He didnt remember the first few when he woke up; he just went about his day with a deliciously free feeling around him, without knowing why. Then he would open his eyes in the morning with vague images of a face and lips swarming in his mind, which he would quickly file away to be dealt with in an imaginary place called later. After one afternoon nap, he let his thoughts carry him farther than he really thought they ought to and lay there dreaming but fully awake for several minutes after he had become conscious. He was not quite lucid enough yet to stop himself from imagining those remembered lips upon his, his arms encircling a familiar tall frame. When he finally got up from his position of repose on the sofa and went to supper, he did not think of the thought until just before dessert. Then he remembered and wrinkled his brow in shame. My God!
Back in bed that night after a late-night case, he once again found his mind flying up ever so high away to that faraway friend. This time he was lucid enough to realize what he was doing, just what it was that he was imagining. Night won over policy and soon the dreams filled the room.
It might have been the next morning or a few days after (after similar nights) when he read in the paper of the concert violinist Sigersons reported demise. He had been instructed to follow that fictitious mans career if he wanted to know the whereabouts of his friend and had been scanning the papers regularly. The news hit him like a dizzying blow to the head.
The first thing that occurred to him was that this was a message from some heavenly power that his sinful thoughts had killed the object of their affection. Guilt and shame threatened to destroy him until an emergency case took his mind off the matter briefly. But the life was saved, and Watson took this as a sign that all was not lost. He gave himself the small hope that Holmess spirit was somewhere around him in the flat and would be with him.
A kind of minor idolization transpired after this loss. Watson let his newly known love consume his heart, but he was in love with a ghost. People who knew him during this time saw him as intense and spiritual. Patients wondered if he doubled as a clergyman. Any time anyone mentioned Holmes to him or even in his presence, his eyes flashed, he became eloquent and poetic. He heard the violin in his sleep, and whispered in the night out to a presence he almost could feel....
It was an ordinary day when Watson tripped over the old man with the books and later let him into his study. The day was transformed, however, when Watson turned around to face the face from his dreams, the dearest person in the world to him, whom he had thought dead and gone and lost.... now found.... He collapsed into a white world.
Holmes dashed up to catch him before he fell too far. In that closeness the detective knew everything (as a great deducer would) and was finally at peace with his own thoughts of the past several years. Smiling a very small smile, he carried the unconscious Watson over to the sofa.
Watson awoke gently to a cold washcloth over his forehead and vaguely tasting brandy. Holmes was bending over him and the nearness nearly sent him into another ecstatic faint, but Holmes had seen his eyes flicker open. Im sorry about that, old friend....
Holmes... youre back.... youre not dead.... Watson was weak just now, but strongly and frantically clutched at the other mans upper arms with a firm grip. It was then when he noticed that Holmes was closer than he had thought. Youre real...
Real as you are! Holmes removed the washcloth from Watsons forehead. And then the great man did something unexpected and tenderly brushed a few hairs, wet from the cloth, out of Watsons face...
Something electric shot through Watson and he let out a small unintentional cry. He moved his mouth as if to speak, but stopped. What words to use? His hand reached up shyly for the side of Holmess neck. Now it was up to Holmes whether or not Watson was going to heaven or just going crazy.
But Holmes understood and let the hand push his face closer and closer slowly. In a moment where time and the world did not exist, the detective quietly kissed the corner of his friends mouth. Then he stood up and began helping a stunned but tractable Watson to his feet.
Within a few minutes their friendship was back to where it had been before Holmes had left and they were chatting as in the old days. Watson was too happy to have him back to even wonder about the strange, silent kiss from before. Maybe I dreamed it when I fainted.
After a lovely supper and an interesting concert of string music, they retired to their rooms to sleep. Watson was not tired, but he went to bed anyway because he never knew when Holmes would summon him out of bed to help him solve some crazy case.
It was Holmess voice that awoke him, but he was not standing at the foot of the bed or in the doorway. Those voice was too close for that. With a vacuum of thought, Watson realized that Holmes was beside him in the bed. Holmes?
Good evening, replied the detective calmly.
Is there a case? Watson was in disbelief.
Only an emotional one, said Holmes. Quite a queer once, actually. He chuckled silently at his own joke, but Watson made no sound.
What do you want me to do? said Watson. Am I to help you on this case?
You, my dear friend, are the culprit!
None more than you... Watson turned his head to face Holmes. They were awfully close...
Must I do everything?
With a swift movement Holmes pounced on Watson and encircled him with his arms. Oh God! Watson cried through a smile before being happily stifled by Holmess kiss. They kissed three times before they met open-mouthed.
They were lost in this kiss for what seemed like eternity. Watson, always the doctor, was astonished that someones mouth could taste so good. It was amazing how deftly the dance of their tongues was choreographed. Watson ran his fingers down Holmess back. Then he pulled his head away and said, Lets go to another place in the flat. Ive dreamed about this so many times in this very bed, Im afraid Im going to wake up and find you gone again!
My bed, then. Holmes sprang out of the bed and gallantly helped Watson up. They hurried to the other room and Watson held onto Holmess arm tightly like a life-support. Once inside the bedroom, they began to kiss again with their arms around each other. Eventually they collapsed onto the bed, and Holmes ran his fingers through Watsons hair.
How did you know? Watson whispered, in between kisses.
Quite simple, really, said Holmes. He was leaving a trail of kisses across the other mans face. I caught you when you fainted earlier. I had to hold you pretty close to keep you from falling. Thats when there are physical clues when a man is thinking of certain things, you know!
How embarrassing! Watson blushed in spite of himself.
Not particularly, said Holmes. In this case it would be the pot calling the kettle black.
And Watson took notice. It was an interesting feeling, really, a closeness oddly mirroring the pressure of their lips. Unconsciously he reached down and ran his fingers across the projection, feeling it swell at his touch. Holmes let out a strong sigh and caressed the back of Watsons neck. Watson grew bolder and made his grasp more firm. I have wanted to love you like this for so long... he breathed as he stroked. Somehow or another Holmes had managed to get out of his trousers and was reaching for Watsons. Soon he started to reciprocate the actions of his dear friend.
An amazing moment transpired, together, and they clung to each other and covered each others faces with kisses before laying, exhausted, in a tangled mass of love... John, said Holmes in a faintly audible but golden voice.
Sherlock. The given names were alien to their former selves, but their former selves were gone. I love you... I think I always have.
I have suspected for quite some time... you took so much care to detoxify my system.
What happens next? Where do we go from here?
We will continue to live as we always have, said Holmes. Call it a marriage, if you will.
A sleepy kiss, and then they fell into a peaceful slumber...