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Game of the day: The 3 year old Art Director.

All the colours were chosen by my son. No doubt , everything was crystal clear for him …

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I followed very carefully the instructions and tadaaa ! Here is : Radia, the cartographer !

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Seeing the result, the boss said: “I’m moderately happy with it…”

Imagine getting some bad news/finding out something awful. You are an anxious wreck because of it, but your favorite character notices and jumps in to save the day. They sit down next to you, pull you in against their chest, and gently comb their fingers through your hair as you spill your guts to them and tell them what happened and how you feel. After finishing, they express their sympathies and give you advice in a quiet, soothing voice before scooping you into their lap and slowly rocking you back and forth. You quickly calm down and relax, so much that you get sleepy, and they lie down with you and let you fall asleep against them. Before finally dozing off, they tell you they will always be there for you, will never hurt you, and that they will always love you no matter what.

When John opened the door to the 221B living room, he was greeted with silence. The curtains were drawn, the lights were off and Sherlock’s bedroom door wide open. Sherlock had been home then but the flat was empty. He couldn’t have been home long – it had taken John only ten minutes to find another cab to Baker street – but the detective seemed to have made the most of the short time he had. Wherever John looked, books were overturned, some drawers were still hanging open and their chairs had been pushed from their usual position. Even the skull no longer sat on the mantel piece and had taken a residence in John’s chair.

A flood of worry overwhelmed him as John picked it up and put it back where it belonged. ‘Damn it,’ he muttered. He took a quick glance in Sherlock’s bedroom, finding the same amount of devastation as in the living room, and he knew his own room would look similar.

Danger night.

Good thing he and mrs Hudson had checked every single hiding place a week before. Sherlock had been tremendously bored due to a lack of interesting cases – at least, they had been incredibly dull to him. When Greg had appeared in front of their front door this morning and Sherlock accepted his case, everyone had breathed out a sigh of relief.

Automatically, John reached for his phone, thumb hovering over the first name of his speed dial list in case of danger nights when John lost Sherlock out of his sight. He froze when the name registered in his mind. Damn it, damn this day, damn it all!

Mycroft Holmes.

With a snarl he pushed the ‘two’ and it was answered after the first ring.

‘Anything?’ Greg’s voice sounded tired on the other end. John could feel his stomach clenching. Nothing on their end then.
‘He’s not at the flat,’ John breathed. ‘He has been here though. Tore everything apart. Have you heard anything?’ He had to ask, maybe…

‘Nothing. Was kinda hoping you would tell us some better news.’ John could hear murmuring on the background and Greg shutting them up with an angry growl. ‘Sorry ‘bout that. Thing are crazy here. But what do you mean ‘tore the place up?’’

John glanced around again. ‘Hiding places.’

Greg’s voice caught in his throat before cursing again and he could hear him shouting orders to someone near him. ‘I don’t care, just do it! Find him, pull everything. Ask his bloody network. John?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Where will you go?’

John took a deep breath and tried to remember Sherlock’s boltholes. But frankly, he had no idea. No idea how to reach out to his friend, no idea how to find him, help him and convince him to come home. Before…oh Jesus bloody Christ. ‘I…Mycroft has a list of all his hiding places in his office, I don’t…maybe Anthea, his assistant, knows some…’

‘John…’ 

Oh buggering fuck! ‘Right…yeah…goddammit.’ John rubbed his face. Damn this day to hell and back. ‘Look, I’ll head to the den I found him during the Magnussen business. Maybe I’ll get lucky.’ Yeah right.

‘Sally will check with his network if she’s able to find one of them. I’ll go to his old places. Will call you yeah?’

‘Yeah…okay. Let me know if there’s any news from the hospital?’

Greg sighed on the other end, sounding every bit as exhausted and desperate as John felt. ‘I’ll do that. Text me when you find him.’

‘Will do.’ He hung up.

John stayed still for a moment, phone still clutched in his hand. He couldn’t believe how fast things had gotten out of hand. What started as a visit from Greg in the morning – only this morning! No more than ten hours ago dammit – had turned in one of the worst days John could recall to memory. They had realised too late how bad things could get, hadn’t realised it was all a distraction, hadn’t realised who the real target was. They had fitted the clues together too late. They had been distracted, still riding their high from Sherlock’s miraculous solving of the ‘Alley Murders’ – Jesus, they were joking about the name for the blog entry when the call came. Too bloody late!

John angrily put his phone away and zipped up his coat when he heard a thump from upstairs. He froze, disbelieving, before running up the stairs and throwing his door open.
The room was dark, undisturbed on first glance, but John could see a shape on his bed. Back against the headboard, legs curled up, head resting on his knees, one arm outstretched besides him. A lump threatened to close up his throat and John could hear his heart pound in his ears, but thank God, he thought to himself. Sherlock was home!

‘Sherlock?’

The shape on his bed didn’t respond. He didn’t even seen to have noticed someone else was in the room and John could barely suppress his worry. All he wanted to do was reach out, talk to him, console him, just making sure he was physically alright, but he knew it would only drive him further away to the point where they would lose him completely.
At least he was home.

He took a tentative step forwards and his foot hit something on the ground. The sound of glass rolling around on the floor made Sherlock turn his head towards him. John did not want to think too closely as to what was on the floor and how it stood in relation to Sherlock’s sluggish movements.

‘John.’
John wanted to scream and cry at hearing Sherlock’s normally arrogant baritone sounding so broken and lost. He longed to smash every single thing he could get his hands on. Instead, he took a deep breath to collect himself. ‘I’m here, Sherlock.’
Sherlock didn’t respond and John stayed still for a moment. The need to get closer to the man on his bed was itching in his bones. He needed to see for himself what Sherlock had done, he had to try and help. But before he could ask, Sherlock moved again. Slowly, like his body weighed a ton, he scooted over to the other side of the bed and turned on the bedside lamp.

John wished he hadn’t.

When the light had been of, he could have pretended not to see what was right in front of him. He could have pretended not to know that the glass rolling over the floor was an empty syringe. He might have convinced himself Sherlock was sluggish because he was devastated and exhausted. He wouldn’t have to see the paleness of the detective’s face, the angry looking mark on his outstretched arm, the hanging eyes and constricted pupils.

‘What was it, Sherlock?’ He hadn’t meant to sound so angry – God knows if he ever had to think of something that could cause Sherlock to fall back, it would have been this – but seeing him like this was almost too much for him.

Sherlock frowned for a moment, eyes darting around the room, as if he’d forgotten where he was and what was being asked. Then, when John bend down to pick the syringe from the ground, he snapped back into focus. ‘Heroine.’ The harshness of his voice pulled John back up and he took a step closer to the bed. Sherlock was shivering, hiding away as far in his coat as he could manage. ‘I just need…just want it to stop, John. Please…’ Sherlock pressed his eyes shut and grimaced. ‘Stupid…stupid…’ John could hear him whispering and he felt his insides grow cold as Sherlock continued his babbling. ‘Disappointing. He used to call me that when we were children. Did you know that John? Such a disappointment. I always tried to prove him wrong. Tried to prove I was as clever as him but he wasn’t wrong, was he John? I was too late, I didn’t see…too late.’ He hid his face from John but not before he had seen the trembling of his lips.

John swallowed the lump in his throat down before speaking.
‘Sherlock, listen to me. Nobody could have seen this coming. This isn’t your fa…’
‘It is my fault!’ Sherlock suddenly shouted and John recoiled. The detective eyes were wild and red-rimmed and his cheeks were tracked with tears, but John doubted if Sherlock even realised he was crying as he continued shouting. ‘I didn’t see in time. I ignored him because I wanted to annoy him. To get back to him for putting back the bloody camera’s.’ Sherlock was climbing of the bed now and started pacing wildly across the room, his hand gestures changing between flinging wildly in the air to pulling his hair. John stepped back, giving him the room he needed, while clenching his hands because he wanted to hold him still. ‘I was too late,’ Sherlock continued frantic, ‘and he trusted me to help him and I was too focussed on Lestrade’s case and now he’s dead! My brother is dead because I didn’t see. Mycroft…’

Sherlock froze in his tracks, his eyes and mouth open wide as the words halted in his throat. John could see the realization and disbelief dawning in the other man’s eyes. ‘Mycroft…’ His voice broke.
John was next to him before Sherlock fell to the floor, buckling under the weight of his grief, and held him. They curled down onto the floor together, holding each other like a life line. John felt the warmth of Sherlock tears seep through his shirt when the younger man pressed his face against his shoulder as he continued babbling. ‘I’m sorry…so sorry, Myc. Please…’

John pulled his arms tighter around Sherlock, swallowing away his own tears. ‘It’s okay, Sherlock,’ he whispered. ‘Please, it’s okay. It wasn’t you, believe me, please. It wasn’t you.’ He didn’t know if Sherlock could hear him, but he kept repeating the words anyway. It hadn’t been his fault. There had been only one man who held the gun and he would be locked away for the rest of his life. And John would do everything in his might to make Sherlock believe him. But for now, he held and rocked him, as the younger man grieved for the death of his brother.

When Sherlock grew heavy in his arm and his broken sobs subsided, John lifted him up and helped him into the bed.
‘John?’ Sherlock reached out to him with a heavy arm when John had removed the big heavy coat and moved to pull off Sherlock’s shoes. John placed a hair on his curls and petted him affectionately.
‘I’m right here, Sherlock,’ he reassured him. ‘Not going anywhere. I promise.’ He pulled his phone out of his pocket when Sherlock was under the covers and texted Greg as quick as he could. He waited until he got a response from the man – asking him how Sherlock was and where he found him – before sending a reply and telling him to leave them be for the rest of the night. He shut his phone of and after a few reassuring words to Sherlock, went downstairs to get some water. He made as much noise as he could, to assure the man upstairs he hadn’t left the building. When he got back upstairs he crawled under the duvet, next to Sherlock, immediately pulling his closer to him. The taller man instantly placed his head on John’s chest, wrapping his arms tightly around him. The man was freezing – side effect of the heroin, John listed to himself – and John pulled the covers closer to them both.

‘I’m so sorry…please John. I just wanted it to be quiet.’
Sherlock’s broken plea was too much for John to bear and he pulled him closer to his chest. ‘I know Sherlock. I’ll help, I promise. Go to sleep, please. I’ll be here.’ John pressed a kiss against the dark curls and within minutes he felt Sherlock giving in to his body’s need to rest. ‘I’ll be here Sherlock,’ John murmured and now he could feel the tears that had threatened to break free all night slide down his cheeks. ‘Promise.’

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