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I Shall Not Be Thy Refuge Once More, chapter 9/12

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | 8:26 pm
music: "Prithee" -- the Monkees
posted by: rose_of_pollux in 30_losses

Title: I Shall Not Be Thy Refuge Once More, chapter 9: Go Thy Way, And Soon I Shall Go Likewise
Author/Artist: Crystal Rose of Pollux (rose_of_pollux)
Rating: PG13
Fandom: Sherlock
Claim: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (friendship)
Theme: 21B; Separate Ways
Genre/s: Drama/Friendship
Warnings: Some violence
Words: ~1200
Summary: John forces himself to go through with his plan.
Disclaimer/Claimer: The characters are not mine (except for the OCs) and the story is
A/N: crossposted to FFN

John was grateful to find out that Mycroft had arranged for the car to take him back to his flat; he wasn’t at all prepared for a long walk back for the sole purpose of throwing Sherlock out after lying to him.

When he did arrive, he found Sherlock sitting on the sofa, an uncharacteristically lost expression in his eyes. The detective’s head turned to face him upon his arrival, and though he gave an initial start, he calmed down after seeing that John was in a normal state—for the moment, anyway.

“Are you alright?” Sherlock asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m okay. Listen, um…” John ran a hand through his hair as he internally steeled himself. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you about the—”

“It’s fine,” Sherlock said. “The important thing is that you’re aware of it now. We… we can devise some sort of a solution.”

“No, we can’t.”


“Sherlock, I… Well, that is to say… I just had a long phone call with my therapist while I was out there,” John said. “She wasn’t too pleased to be bothered so late, but we talked, and it seems that I… I haven’t taken to your return well.”

“Obviously,” the detective said, rolling his eyes.

“No, what I mean is… I was… I’m still too furious about everything you put me through, and yet I want to be happy that you’re back. This whole thing has been too much for me; I’ve had some sort of a psychotic break—”

“No!” Sherlock retorted. “That’s exactly what Mycroft thought; I refuse to believe that he was right!”

“Sherlock, will you listen to yourself?!” John shot back. “Denial won’t do either of us any good! You know best that you have to trust what you see! You admitted yourself that you don’t know how ordinary brains work—those belonging to people of average intelligence! We don’t have mind palaces to throw our problems in; sometimes, when a problem is too big, it’s too much. And you are my biggest problem right now—you’ve been for years!”

Sherlock’s mouth thinned, and John knew that he had to continue.

“I’ve finally—finally—found it possible to make peace with everything that’s happened,” John said. “Everything was going so wonderfully. And then you decide that you want things to be back to the way they were before. And I just realized what that means—you’ll be driving me absolutely mad, sending me all over London to pick up information that you’ll later claim was just stating the obvious or completely wrong. You’ll be luring all sorts of killers and murderers right to me—you saw what happened with Moran!”


“That’s not going to work anymore!” John quipped back. “You need an assistant? Go ask Molly; she was the one you found trustworthy enough to share your secret! You didn’t need me since… then. Why do you need me now?”

If the situation had been completely different, John probably could have appreciated the fact that he had finally succeeded in getting Sherlock Holmes to sit dumbfounded, at a loss for words.

“You don’t need me,” John went on. “You told me so yourself. Alone is what I have. Alone protects me.”

“And you said that friends protect people,” Sherlock countered, standing up to confront John with his full height.

“Well, it looks like I was wrong, wasn’t I?” John said, with an offhand shrug. “But how is that a surprise—average, ordinary John Watson, being wrong? Because, as we all know, Sherlock Holmes is always right.”

Sherlock had opened his mouth to retort, but not a single word formed. As the detective looked on, John silently opened the door of the flat and gestured to the threshold.

“Get out of my flat.”

“John, you can’t—”

“Ah, actually, I am.” He pointed to the corridor again. “Out. Molly will do anything for you; you know that. But the days when I did are long gone.”

“You would throw your best friend out?”

John affixed Sherlock with a cold stare.

“My best friend is dead. The dead don’t come back. The dead can’t come back.”



He had to shout. If he hadn’t, John was certain his voice would’ve broken as much as his heart was breaking.

Sherlock seemed to be in some sort of daze as he sat back down, staring at John… Well, staring through him, it seemed.

“Right,” John said. “I get it. The great and brilliant Sherlock Holmes is never used to things not going his way. I’ll be merciful enough to give you time to grab ahold of this novel concept!”

“John… why are you doing this?”

“I’m going out; I’ll be back in twenty minutes. And when I return, you’d better be out of here, or I’ll call Lestrade and report an unwelcome trespasser. And then you can explain to him all about this.”

“You wouldn’t…” Sherlock said.

John responded with the coldest look he could muster.

“Try me. No, really—try me. Testing my limits was always a hobby of yours, remember?”

Sherlock’s look of disbelief now morphed into a scowl.

“This has gone far enough, John!”

“That’s exactly what I’ve been saying—so glad to see that we’re finally on the same page now!”

“No!” Sherlock barked, getting back to his feet. “This isn’t you, John! You’re not this…”

“Cold?” John finished. “Cynical? I have to tell you the same thing I told Stamford—I’m not the John Watson you remember. You don’t go unchanged from certain things, Sherlock.” He paused. That actually was true. “You’re just going to have to accept that, whether you like it or not.”

“I don’t like it,” Sherlock hissed.

“I’m not too crazy about it myself,” John retorted. “But you do realize that there’s only one person to blame for it?”

Sherlock’s mouth thinned again.

“I told you—I did it to save you!”

“And you had plenty of opportunities to let me know that you were, in fact, alive,” John said. “But you didn’t.” He pointed to his watch. “Twenty minutes—unless you really would like to explain things to Lestrade.”

He started to walk out the door, and Sherlock found himself unintentionally echoing the very same two words John had said just before he had jumped.

“No, don’t…”

The irony was not lost on John, who steeled himself one more time.

“Goodbye, Sherlock.”

He didn’t look back; he didn’t trust himself to keep up the charade if he did. Looking into Sherlock’s eyes, he had seen the genuine hurt that lay within them. Mycroft had been right; John had been responsible for making Sherlock more human.

Perhaps that was what made this the cruelest twist of fate of all.

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