Returns and Revelations

He sleeps in my arms tonight, but I do not dare follow him into Morpheus’ realm. I fear that our entwined bodies are not true reality but are instead just a dream, and I will waken once again alone in my cold, desolate bed.

Sherlock Holmes has returned to me, after three long years gone and believed dead. It is if my heart, frozen all that time, has been blasted into the lands of the great Sahara and the thaw is not a slow melting but a tumultuous transformation from ice to fire.

I pull him closer and gently kiss his brow. He murmurs, but does not wake.

I would thank God for today’s gift, if such a great power exists and would not condemn our actions but would rejoice in our joy. I find I do not care about condemnation, whether it comes from God himself and His Church, or from London society, or even from the Queen’s own government and laws. He is here in my arms and anyone who cannot see the beauty in that be damned.

I am still shocked by the events that led to this point; in fact the events of the day are so surprising that I tremble as I think of them. Somehow in his slumber he feels my fears and nestles closer, his steady heartbeat a balm to my frayed nerves.

I stood in his rooms --
our rooms -- this very night and watched as he paced, his excitement at his triumph over Moran an irresistible force. He clapped the wounded wax bust replica on the shoulder, peering at me through the bullet hole, and laughed. “You see, Watson,” he said, “I still know a thing or two about tricks and deception.”

Yet my mind was not on tonight’s success, but on today’s prior revelations. “Holmes,” I said slowly, knowing that I must ask this question, for it had been bothering me all day, but I found myself facing a great reluctance to do so, “if Moran had seen you flee from Reichenbach Falls, why did you pretend to be dead these long years? Surely he knew such claims were false, and tracked you nonetheless?”

His joy had leeched from him, and I could see trepidation in those stormy grey eyes.

“Ah Watson,” he said softly, “I wish I had had a bit more time before I had to answer that.”

“How much time do you need, my dear fellow?” I asked. I had no desire to cause him any distress.

“The rest of my life would be an acceptable,” he muttered, more to himself than to me. My confusion must have been evident, because he continued, “I owe you, of all people, the answer to that question, but I fear that I shall forever lose you when the truth is uttered.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Holmes,” I ejaculated with alarm. “There is nothing you could say that would ever drive me from your side, especially now, with the miracle of your return to my life.”

“I wish, more than anything, that was true,” Holmes said sadly. “But once you know my motives which led my actions, you will be hard pressed to forgive your once close friend.”

I stood and went to him, clasping his shoulder and looking directly into his troubled eyes. “Tell me,” I demanded.

He looked down and closed his eyes. I could feel him trembling under my hands. “It was you, Watson,” he whispered. “I had to flee from you.”

I dropped my hand from him as if burned, and turned to walk out of the rooms and back to my isolated life. “I am sorry,” I said, my voice surprisingly steady, “that I have caused you such pain and forced you from your home. I will trouble you no longer.” I made to move toward the door.

“No!” he cried, and I found myself being forcefully turned around to face him yet again. “You misunderstand. It’s not that I don’t want you in my life. It’s that I want you too much.”

“What?” I asked, confused.

His expression grew pained. “You see, my dear Watson, I made a startling discovery on your wedding day, as I toasted you and your lovely bride. I found myself almost incapacitated as the feeling slammed into me, and I realized everything I had lost. On that day, my dearest Watson, I discovered that I was in love with you.”

“What?” I repeated, a bit dully I will admit.

“I, ‘the brain without the heart’, had fallen desperately, deeply in love with you, my dearest friend,” Holmes said, his voice trembling as he spoke. “I tried to fight it, suppress it, push it away, but I found that my feelings, and my jealousy for your lovely wife, consumed my free moments.”

“Holmes,” I began, although I had no idea what I was going to say.

He held up his hand for silence. “Let me finish,” he insisted, “for I shall never have to courage to speak of this again. Once I realized the truth of my unnatural desire, I strove to remain busy, to be in engrossed in my work. I was determined to battle the great criminal mastermind Moriarty, whom I had known of for several years but had never taken on so directly. All this, my dear Watson, was to avoid how much I desperately wanted you.”

He turned from me with an agonized cry, and went to the fireplace, leaning his head against the wall above the mantel.

I stood for a moment in shock, for it is not often that someone declares their love for me, and never anyone as remarkable as Holmes. I admit that I had an instant of trepidation, for I knew that to pursue any action with Holmes would be deemed criminal. I was not ignorant of these desires. The Army had taught me that such feelings existed between men. But to discover that Sherlock Holmes would harbor such feelings for
me was, quite frankly, astonishing.

I went to him, stood behind him, and gently laid my hand upon his shoulder. He flinched.

“I understand your disgust, Watson,” he said, his tone heavy in self-loathing. “Please do not slam the door when you depart. I would hate for you to wake Mrs. Hudson.”

“You understand nothing,” I said, forcefully spinning him around, pulling his head down to mine, and kissing him desperately.

He struggled for a moment, and then capitulated, his tongue meeting mine in his surrender. I moaned at the heady feel of it, and pulled him closer.

“Watson,” he gasped when we finally broke apart, the need for air forcing a separation. “You are right. I do not understand,” he exclaimed in wonder.

I pulled him down for another kiss, this one as gentle as the first had been desperate. “You’re not the only one with confessions tonight,” I told him, then gently kissed his neck, delighting in his responding shiver.

“Whatever do you mean?” he asked breathlessly, with a slight moan as I kissed his earlobe.

“Can you not deduce?” I asked teasingly.

“I seem to be blind where you are concerned, Watson,” he said with a slight laugh. “And while I delight in this most unexpected surprise, I need to know what confessions you also have to make.”

I looked directly into his eyes. “You’re not the only one who made a startling realization about his feelings on my wedding day, Holmes.” I then looked down, the shame of my confession hitting me with the force of a speeding train. I closed my eyes. Ah Mary, I thought, you deserved so much better.

Holmes placed his hand under my chin and gently lifted my face. I opened my eyes and saw concern in his.

“I should have been delighted that day,” I said through the lump in my throat, “but I would see you and all I could think of was how I didn’t want to leave your side.” I looked down again, unable to meet his eyes. “I loved Mary, you understand,” I whispered. “But my love for her was like a tenuous ethereal thing, beautiful in it’s translucence but lacking in substance. My feelings for you, however, blazed forward like a solid mass of energy, burning me whenever I lingered too long upon them.” I tried to turn away in my shame.

“Watson,” he said gently, holding me in place, “you would never have hurt her. I had no idea of your feelings for me, but I could easily observe your open love and regard for her.”

“She deserved better,” I said.

“She had you. There is no better than that.”

I closed my eyes again from the pain of her loss.

am sorry for your bereavement,” Holmes said quietly. “She was a remarkable woman.”

I finally lifted my eyes to meet his, and wondered at their mistiness as my own vision blurred. “I would have chosen you over her,” I said brokenly, the shame of my admission forcing a tear down my face.

Holmes gently wiped the tear away. “No, you wouldn’t. I would never have made a demand of your affections that would have hurt your wife, and you can be assured, John Watson, that I know you well enough to be certain that you would never have betrayed her.”

“I miss her,” I admitted. “And I missed you, desperately. My life has been desolate since I thought you gone.”

“I’m back now,” he said, “and I promise that I shall not leave you again.”

I pulled him close to me, just holding him, as his hands stroked soothingly down my back. I let my sorrow and pain and loneliness pour out of me in waves, and he held me firmly against the storm of my own despair. “I could not bear to lose you again,” I mumbled into his shoulder.

“I am so sorry,” he said quietly, kissing my hair. “I had no idea of your feelings, or that you would be affected so strongly. I pray that you can forgive me my blunders, and let me strive to make up for every lost minute.”

I pulled away and gazed into his eyes again. “You’d better,” I said, attempting a levity I did not quite feel.

“I will,” he promised solemnly.

I pulled him down and kissed him again.

When we broke apart he took my hands in his and looked me directly in the eyes. “Will you…” he began softly, and then stopped, hesitation clear on his face. He swallowed. “Will you, John, come with me?”

I smiled nervously and nodded. “Yes,” I whispered.

He led me to his bedroom. He locked the door and then looked around, his eyes searching every crevice. “I never thought I’d see this room again,” he admitted, looking slightly overwhelmed.

I stepped to him and gently stroked his cheek. “I, for one, am very glad you are home,” I said. Then I added, softly, “Sherlock.”

He shivered slightly and closed his eyes, leaning his face further into my hand. “No one has ever said my name like that.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Like a caress.”

“Sherlock,” I breathed. Our lips met and my tongue gently sought entrance. Our kisses turned from tender to passionate, and I pulled him flush against me, feeling his hardness answering my own.

We broke apart, both panting slightly. He gazed into my eyes, looking at me with such tenderness and longing that I thought my heart would burst. He touched my face with a gentle reverence. “Yes?” he asked quietly.

“Yes,” I whispered and sought his lips once more.

We slowly undressed, removing ties and cravats, braces and shirts. I shall never forget the feeling the first time that his bare chest slid against my own, the delectable touch of his hard body. I will admit that passions quickly overcame gentleness at that point.

When all our clothes were finally removed, we fell on his bed, I on top of him. We grinded together fiercely, our excitement overwhelming, our breaths coming in shallow pants. Neither one asked the other of prior experience for, in truth, I think we were both afraid to know the answer.

The feel of his pulsing manhood against mine drove me to frantic kisses. I kissed his lips, his face, his neck, finally biting down gently but firmly and marking him as my own.

He drew me even closer, writhing underneath me. I needed him as I had needed no other in my life, my passions at a boiling point. I could not stop; there was no way I could stop. I bit down on his neck once more, suckling his pulse point, loving him with great fervor.

He cried out, spilling his release as he pulled me closer, his unyielding fingers bruising my back in the most delicious way. I followed him almost immediately, my own little death pouring from my soul.

Our breaths slowly steadied, and I lifted my head to look down into those beautiful, piercing eyes. “John,” he whispered in delight and quiet desperation, his eyes reflecting his love and fear and loneliness and longing. I realized then that his entire life had been lived in the same forlorn isolation that I had spent my last few years. I vowed silently that he would never know such feelings again.

“My dearest Sherlock,” I whispered and he smiled. I maneuvered us around so that he was draped alongside me, his head on my chest. I stroked and kissed his hair, and held him gently as sleep quickly claimed him.

And thus here I am now, holding this most precious gift in my arms, petrified that everything will disappear in the same blink of the eye that it miraculously appeared in my life.

He stirs slightly, placing a gentle kiss to my chest before settling back down. I pull him closer and rub my cheek against the top of his head. I can feel his smile on my chest.

“Sleep, John,” he says quietly, raising his head to look at me. “I promise that, come morning, I will still be here. A new life has started. I shall not leave your side again.”

I smile and nod, leaning down for one more kiss. He places his head back on my chest and sleep quickly reclaims him. This time, I allow Morpheus to find me, and I follow Sherlock Holmes once more at his bidding, delighting in the ability to be able to do so. I plan to follow his lead for the end of days and beyond, and I dream of our new life together.




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