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You're still here, even if you're not

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2 months later
Lips bitten. Eyes shut. Pupils dilated. Breathing fast. Back arched.
Neck stretched. Toes curled. Sherlock!

John moaned into his neck. He felt Sherlock rut against him. God, he was so hard. He pulled him closer, desperate for the friction, any friction. But Sherlock was teasing, he was holding back, he wasn't going to let this be over so quickly. Sherlock!

John didn't remember what he said, if he said anything, if he begged, if he looked at Sherlock with pleading eyes, if he took his hand himself and fucked it. Fucked Him. Fucked Sherlock's hand. Those fingers, those, God. All he remembers is waking up in a sticky mess with a smug expression on Sherlock's face that can only mean John was loud. Very loud. But as John focused, he saw that Sherlock was blonde, that he wasn't smiling at all, that he was shorter and with eyes that weren't nearly as magnificent as he remembered. As John focused, he realised, this was Mary.

God. Had he said Sherlock's name when he came?

Again?

Mary's expression said it all. Of course, she wouldn't mention it. Bless her heart, she wouldn't, she'd do her best to hide her shock, fake a smile, wash, turn her back towards John and sleep.

It was Wednesday. John was doing better. There were fewer nightmares but more hallucinations. He would see Sherlock everywhere even in places Sherlock wouldn't go to if he was alive. He talked to him (it? Which pronouns does one use to referring to one's hallucinations?) in the grocery store, making snarky remarks about the milk and the lining of products. He giggled to himself when he heard Sherlock make deductions about the customers, how that one particular gentleman is buying a peach after seeing Call Me By Your Name, how the cashier is a closeted lesbian with a massive crush on her best friend (ironic, much?), how that one man buying a spray tan lied to his friends about going to vacation in Italy and so on. But this imaginary Sherlock wasn't just for entertainment.

Sometimes, Greg would call John for an opinion on a case and John would listen to Sherlock's voice in his head make deductions and repeat them to Greg and often times, they helped. Not as much as the actual Sherlock would have, but it helped. But this Sherlock, lack the real Sherlock wasn't just for work either. He was also a brilliant companion. John took this more complaint Sherlock to the movies and made sure that the seat next to him was not booked, so he could sit next to him. He would curse at Sherlock when he gave away the ending and smile when he didn't like old times.

But everything was the same. Sure, smiled and laughed and let their knees brush against each other and at times, said his name when he came but mostly, it was the same cold, stern, arrogant, brilliant, kind, beautiful Sherlock who was only his best friend. John wasn't gay, Sherlock was asexual. It was like old times.

Occasionally, at his therapists insistence, he would go to the graveyard but he wouldn't go anywhere near Sherlock's grave. He would walk around, avoiding it and then would go to therapy and he say he visited Sherlock's grave. Such was the life of John Watson.

John did his best to make Mary happy. Months passed, and he learnt to control his moans (to his own surprise) He had learnt to fake a smile. Sometimes, so well that he believed it himself. But maybe that was because he really did smile when Mary spoke because in some ways, she had saved him or maybe it was because behind Mary, was Sherlock who smiled and turned his collar up, who roamed around with his thick curls bouncing away, who sometimes smiled at John like he did before. Smiled at him like- there really there was no way of describing how Sherlock looked at John. He smiled at John like he had just won the Nobel Prize

And saw a genie come out of a lamp he rubbed

And met Benedict Cumberbatch

And beat Mycroft at operation

And found a cure for cancer

And had 50 serial killers start killing at once

And had been gifted kidneys for experimentation

And John? He looked at Sherlock the way Sherlock looked at him, he looked at Sherlock like he was in love.

Sometimes, late at night, when John did acknowledge the fact that Sherlock was simply a figment of his imagination, he wondered if it was narcissistic to fall in love with him. He was, afterall, a part of his own mind. Sometimes, he wondered if this was Sherlock's ghost. He wished it was. Sometimes, he forgot Sherlock had died and that would hurt the most. The moment someone stares at him when he talks to the air in the grocery store, the moment he sees Mary when he says his name, the moment Mycroft doesnt say anything in response to Sherlock's remark about his weight, the moment Greg doesn't say Sherlock after he says John. That hurts the most.

Sometimes, John would wonder if he would spend his life this way, smile at Sherlock who stood behind Mary, look at him when he kissed her, bite his lower lip to avoid saying his name when he made love to her, tell her that he wanted to grow old with him- sorry, her. The facade had to fall. One of these days, it had to. John just had to make sure it wouldn't happen in front of Mary. He was afterall, going to propose to him- sorry, her.

But suppose it didn't fall. Suppose he convinced Mary he loved her.

Would he be happy?