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so this is how it feels to be alive

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John rode his bicycle down the long twisted roads fenced by tall pine trees. The scenery was freshly damp from morning dew and the smell of wet grass filled the air.

The rays of the early morning sun equaled the brightness of his face. The warmth of the rays equaled the lightness he was feeling.

Mind clouded with the memories of last night, he smiled. The previous night was already special. Sherlock came back to him. And they made love until the crack of dawn, until their bodies were too spent to move. Right there in the arms of one another they fell asleep. And it was even more special because the man wasn't an ordinary man before. He was his Guardian Angel.

Guiding his bicycle carefully down to a blind curve, the blonde thought of the first time he met the Angel.—

When John first saw the man, he didn't know whom Sherlock really was. John was doing the evening rounds on his floor, it was an empty corridor as he's aware. He was looking down at the clipboard he was holding, counting the number of patients he had to do a surgery the next day, when a figure ahead of his vision catches his attention. He looked up from his clipboard and noticed a tall man with a mop of dark raven curls standing outside the door of his patient's room. The tall man was wearing a long dark coat.

John cleared his throat audibly to get the stranger's attention and when the man turned to him, he couldn't help but let his mouth fell open and froze from where he stood.

The man was achingly beautiful. His eyes were a pair of stormy grey that changes into sea-green pearls whenever a shadow of light passes over them.

He asked for the man's name and what he was doing there. The visiting hours had already passed and anyone who'd be caught lurking around would answer to the security. The tall man looked at him with a gaze that made him feel warm beneath his scrubs. Oh my God, what is this...

"Sherlock." says the man, with a voice quite deep, low and smooth. And it made John feel even warmer. He cleared his throat trying his best not to blink. As if the man would vanish if he does.

"Oh. Umm.. Mr. Sherlock... Are you.. a friend or a family?" John asked curiously. It was the first time that he saw Mr. Harding, his patient had a visitor. The man was quiet about his personal life and his wife had passed away long before.

The man named Sherlock smiled, looking at him amused, "I am a friend." The man said.

John bit his lower lip and smiles back, somehow he feels flushed, "Umm well, the visiting hours are finished. You should.."

But I don't want him to leave...

The man smiles again still looking at him. "I'll come back tomorrow."

Oh...

"It was nice to finally have you see me, John." Sherlock says to him casually.

"Oh.. How—How did you know my name?" He asked, feeling a bit dazed.

He watched as Sherlock pointed a finger across his chest. John reached for the place blindly not breaking his gaze with Sherlock and when his free hand comes in contact with his I.D., somehow he felt like smiling. So he did.

Clutching his clipboard closer to his chest, he lowered his free hand inside his pocket then turned to the man.

"Well, Mr. Sherlock, it's better if you'd really return tomorrow. I guess, you could convince Mr. Harding to follow his physio exercises. He's being a bit difficult lately. Good evening." He says to the man. And with much effort John turned on his back walking briskly towards where he had come from. He clips off his I.D. examining it. As he does so, his steps slowed and reads his name printed the I.D. over and over again—

J. H. Watson, MD — surgeon—

His full name was not there—Now that's creepy, how did he—

John makes a turn back to ask Sherlock, only when he does, the man was nowhere to be found.

 

••••••••••

From then on, John always sees Sherlock. Sherlock always talks to him. As if the man was stalking him. John sees him in the cafeteria, the library, the side of the road, the market, his shift breaks, his thoughts, and even on his dreams. And John would wake up not because of his nightmares anymore. But because of Sherlock. His own wild imaginings to the man has him to deal with a morning wood every morning and every night. He thought he was going mad.

And it didn't took long before he realised that he's already in love with the man. It made him feel guilty before because he had a boyfriend. Had. It wasn't long before his boyfriend, James, learned about the tall bloke that got his attention. But John hasn't cheated. He's not like that. He just recognised what he felt for Sherlock but he didn't pursue it because he had James. But the man jumped to conclusions and broke up with him.

He lost James but the thing he have with Sherlock, it remained.

One day, he took Sherlock out shopping on the market. He was a bit weird and peculiar about everything. He asked about trivial things, obvious things like those you'd laugh about because it's just like that, obvious. Why didn't you know that?'It should be normal.

But he didn't complain. He loved it. He loved the way Sherlock's eyes clear from a haze of curiosity whenever he taught him about obvious things. He loved it when the man's attention was only for him.

The months went on and passed they got even closer. He learned that he's from the East Sussex but didn't made it clear where exactly it was. He doesn't have a sister, or parents. So he thought Sherlock was an orphan. He never talked about family. So, John was always curious about Sherlock. But then when Sherlock was the one to ask, John always answered. It came to the point that he had told him everything about himself.

And then one starry night, by the influence of wine, John braved himself and kisses Sherlock. And he thought, Sherlock was like a drug. He felt high as he sat down on the tall man's lap. He pressed and pressed his mouth on his. He grabbed on the man's strong shoulders and when Sherlock's long fingers grazed the soft flesh of his hips under his shirt, he moaned, grinding himself against Sherlock and it made him shiver from pleasure, from the man's warmth. And then he kissed him again, his perfect curved lips, soft and sweet against his. He deepens the kiss, until they were out of breath. Well, until he was aroused and out of breath. He pulled back only to be disappointed. The look on Sherlock's eyes were nothing. Nothing. No lust, no uncontrolled desire, no warmth, not even what he thought they had.

John felt hurt, and through the ordeal he shouted. He asked the man if he could even feel anything. He asked Sherlock if he even wanted him. John asked if it was really a one-sided love affair. He felt angry, betrayed, disappointed. He scrutinized him with a look. But Sherlock only turned away, looking down on his own hands, clasped together tightly, confusion present all over his trembling body. And when Sherlock looks up at him, it felt empty. What does that mean? But before John could ever ask again, a series of hard punches enough to broke a rib knocks Sherlock down the grass.

John yelped as he turned to look at the attacker. It was James. And then James was shouting: 'You're not even human!
'You're a monster!'.

Then John was shouting too, telling his ex to shut up. He went down on his knees to the man kneeling on the grass. He asked Sherlock what was going on, but the man only looked at him, the same confusion visible in his eyes. And then Sherlock stood up and ran away. It was also then that John realised, Sherlock doesn't even have a single bruise on his face.

John never saw him ever since.

A week passed, and he still had no news about Sherlock. Until one day, his patient talks to him about guardian angels.

Mr. Harding said that one time in his life, he was also one. The thought made John laugh but the way he was being looked at by his patient meant that it was something not to be laughed at.

Mr. Harding said that guardian angels are powerful entities. They are most of the time invisible, but when they chose to be, they can be seen. They weren't from the earth but they exist in between, the earth and the sky. They look after humans, that's their mission. Boss said, "I made you to look after my beloved, and lead them away from harm," But sometimes angels fall. And sometimes that's where it gets complicated. Because Boss gave humans free will, and that free will affects everything around them. Even the unknown.

"And you know who's Boss I'm talking about, right?" Mr. Harding asks him. John only nodded, for if someone talked about angels then there can only be one Boss, indeed.

He wasn't a religious person. But he knew better to argue about that aspect.

John thought about this, and then he asked if it'd be possible for an angel and a human to be together. It was then that the patient smiled and nodded but he looked at him with eyes filled with sadness. "The angel need to do the leap." his patient explains. "The angel needs to fall. But for every life, there's a sacrifice." Mr. Harding says solemnly, the old man turned away from him and staring out at the visible traffic lights at the window. His patient lost his wife when their first child was born. And now his patient lies here on the hospital, waiting for the time when the cancer cells inside his old frail body drags him to the ground.

John took a month-long leave after all that had happened. He thought he needed a break from all of it, deciding to occupy the vacation house he bought for himself for his retirement.

••••••••••

A honk behind him, startled him out of his thoughts. He apologised at the driver and let the car drove pass by him.

And once again his mind drifts off that evening, to the tall man he found standing at his doorsteps, shivering and soaking wet in the rain. Sherlock's eyes were wide and staring at him searching his face. Breath panting, body trembling harder, almost naked, with only a coat barely hanging on his broad shoulders. Then he noticed the bruises on the man's face, a bleeding cut on those luscious lips.

That night he took care of Sherlock. But not as a doctor to a patient. But as a lover to a lover. He treated Sherlock's bruises with utmost care. And then they made love in front of his fireplace. John memorised Sherlock's features. The contour of his lips, the curve of his hips, his closed eyelids; he touched them gently with his fingertips. He made him feel.

He stared at Sherlock lying beneath him, his pale features glow against the warm flames. And then Sherlock, his Sherlock asked for a repeat of what John had done to him the very first time he kissed him. And John obliged happily.

His guardian angel made the leap to be with him. Sherlock exchanged an eternity to be able to feel John.
To be a human with him, forever.

Forever. He doesn't believe in that.

He is a doctor after all. People die in his hands, on his operating table—then he announced their time of death. Even when he was still in the army, lives had already been lost in his presence. Once he was even the only one who have survived from an ambush. And life for him had always been like that. People die and the ones left living have to move on. It hurts. But it's the truth—

But then Sherlock came, and now as he was reminded of the beautiful sound Sherlock made when John took him in his body—who would've thought that angels and humans could be joined as one?

He did now.

••••••••••

John met Sherlock exactly a year ago, on this day. The memory of that day will always be special.

And now that they were starting over again, he's willing to give anything away just to be with this man. Just like what he did for him.

John reached the market, parking his bicycle outside. He picked up a basket while making his way to the veggies and fruit stalls, purchasing what he needs. He tasted some apples and thought Sherlock would like them. After paying, he packed the produce inside his mailman's bag and head on his way home again. To Sherlock.

The thought made him smile.

The wind blew across his face and he felt contentment. Peace and harmony enveloping his being. He was going too fast down the road but he didn't mind. Right at that moment, he felt so close to heaven.

Balancing himself on his bicycle, John spread his arms like it was his very own wings. His soft hair swaying with the wind. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. His mind beginning to be filled with Sherlock again. The colour of his eyes, the feel of his skin, the warmth of his smile, the glow of his face. He couldn't wait to experience him again.

Earlier that morning, he left the man on the shower to give him his own privacy. Today he's going to serve him their favourite mixed fruit salad.

He can't wait to see him again.
But when John opened his eyes, time stood still.

••••••••••

The lorry was blocking the road horizontally. The freshly cut woods were tied tightly in a bundle at the back of the vehicle. Its enormous size made the feeling of something painful  inside his chest that Sherlock couldn't point out.

He didn't like it. It doesn't feel like anything John had made him feel. In John's jumper and pyjamas that looked too fit for him, he ran through the bushes and branches not minding the thorns that wounded his skin.

And when his bare feet came in contact with the asphalt road, he felt the little organ inside the middle of his chest stopped from beating. The road was decorated with sticks that made a crackling sound. He doesn't know what it was called yet, he have to ask his human about it. Oh, but he is a human now. His other human then.

Slowly, he followed where the sticks would take him and before he sees the fallen apples, he's already on his knees.

A few steps across him, lay his other human. John.

Sherlock swallowed the pain he feels emanating from John. He could feel him in pain. He was staring in the sky. His breath hitched, intakes of on his chest are visible. Inhale, paused, exhale. Pause. Inhale, it's taking too long—Exhale .

And then John somehow felt his presence. His human's gaze turned to him. Their eyes locked and he felt the force of an invisible magnetic pull towards John.

He crawled on fours towards the body lying on the side of the road and observed silently. Bruises on the arms under those jumpers. He could feel it. Broken ribs, one piece of bone slowly pushing itself to one of John's lungs with every exhale.

He'll never make it.

"S-Sherlock ..." His human breathes his name.

With a choked sob, he feels the tears well off from his eyes. John looked at him with so much sadness reflected in his own pair of ocean blue.

"Sorry.. I-I'm so s-sorry." John breathes.

Carefully, he cupped John's head to his lap.

"Sshhh.. You're a-alright. You're going to be alright." Sherlock whispered, bending his head down to kiss John's forehead.

John shook his head, flinching.
Gasps of agony escaping his lips.
Lips that are now turning a shade of blue, much darker than John's own eyes.

"This... i-isn't what I... I have in m-mind—" John says to him, wincing in between. Tears are forming on the corner of John's eyes.

Sherlock wanted to say, everything was already planned. It is what it is. But before he could speak, John's eyes becomes unfocused. He looked over Sherlock's shoulder. His breathing relaxes as if calmness have settled itself to John's existence.

And that's when he knew.
They are here.

Ever since he took the leap in exchange of existing as a human the first of the human emotions he felt was pain.

Pain from slamming on a parking lot roof. His clothes were smoking hot. Pain from cutting his lip from a sharp wire. Pain from being mugged out of his clothes by other humans. And then there's cold, from being soaked in the rain. It rained before he was able to get down off the roof.

Then there's warmth, so much warmth. When John held him tight that night after travelling on foot, trusting his mental map of the world to where John is. Warmth when he made it to John's house. Warmth when their bare skin joined as one. When John sat on him, buried deep. John's eyes were burning with warmth. It took away the coldness. And Sherlock felt the heat enveloping their bodies, burning them as one. Raw, fresh, new, exciting—it felt so good, Sherlock asked to do it again. And John laughed and obliged with his wants, his needs, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But now, here they are in the middle of the road—And for the very first time, the former angel felt fear.

"John," Sherlock says quickly.
"JOHN. Look at me."

"Who..." John whispered to no one over Sherlock's shoulder.

"John, please. Look at me." He took John's jaw and caresses it just like how John did the previous night.

"Don't look at them, please. Stay with me, John. Don't let them take you away. I c-can't—"

He shook his head, lowering his forehead to John's. And that's when John looked at him.

"This is ... This is what happens ... when.."
John breathes weakly, the pain Sherlock was feeling has escalated. He swallows the invisible lump on his throat, before confirming John's words once, with a tight nod.

"Yes." He whispers, John sighs a long one.

John wheezes, Sherlock holds him tighter.

"Oh... They're asking me... something."
John breathes again, still staring intently over Sherlock's shoulder.

Sherlock closed his eyes. One punishment that comes from taking the leap was whoever takes it, they will retain their memory.

And Sherlock felt like he was the one that had been hit by a truck. He remembered asking that question in more than a million times.

Suddenly he felt John's palm on his cheek, stroking him slowly. John's palm is cold.

"The best... thing that... ever happened to me... is Sherlock. Thank you... for sending him... to me... I no longer felt alone..." He heard John say over Sherlock's shoulder. A trickle of blood falls from John's nose, Sherlock gently thumbs it away.

"You were never alone." Sherlock whispers. "I've always been with you... ever since you were a child." He admitted to John.

John's gaze finally turns to him. Eyes filling with tears again. His mouth opens and closes, and Sherlock felt he couldn't watch anymore.

"I'm sorry," John finally manages to say. "you... gave up your wings for me and now—"

Sherlock shook his head frantically as he took John's hands, grasping them hard.

"I love you, John Watson."

Sherlock says, as he kissed John's hands over and over again.

"And I'd give up even this lifetime, if I could. Just to be with you..."

John blinked away the tears in his eyes and for the last time he smiled at him. "I'll love you still Sherlock—always and beyond... Until we meet again... Live well, for me..."

Sherlock stared at the man he had come to love in his previous entity and his human life. And he knew, that no matter who he would be, he would find his human. And that life would always, always lead him to John. Always, John.

He nodded slowly and watches in grief as his human lie still on his arms; eyes focused on his—unmoving.

 

••••••••••

After the funeral, he came home.

It was eerily silent.
Candles were lit, and the place was neat as before.
Funny how five nights ago, he was here with the reason  why he was even there in the first place.
First he thought he have everything.
Now he had nothing.

He sat on the familiar armchair, closing his eyes. But he opens them again, wincing to an invisible pain.
A flashback of a warm smile, it felt like a stab on his chest—

"I know you're here." He whispered to no one.

"I don't know... what to do... but I'll try. I love you so much, John."

The raindrops had started to pour on the rooftops.

"I will live your life. I'll wait for you, until we meet again. Until then."

••••••••••

The tall man who have reached the age of old answers a knock, as it came to his doors one rainy night. He took his cane to support his trembling knees and went to open it.

A short blonde haired man wearing a long dark coat was the one he saw as he opened the doors. A pair of that familiar ocean blue eyes greeted him.

"You took your time," he says, and the man smiled at him reaching a hand.

The tall man took the outstretched hand and went with him. And together, they became one—with the light.