Imagine a scene where Sherlock gets it wrong. Utterly, catastrophically wrong, in far deeper waters than we’ve ever seen him. The dangerous song and dance with Mary is at its breaking point. The pressure of it all is just too much. And Sherlock screams at John, and he hates himself for it- why is he screaming at John when it is the first he has seen him back in 221B in ages, but he can’t help it, it’s all just too-
“I can’t do it, John! Alright? There, I said it- the Great Sherlock Holmes can’t figure it out! Why don’t you write that on your idiot blog of yours, I’m sure people will love it. Let them have a good laugh at their little machine that’s broken, I bet they-”
And the words die in his throat as he puts his head in his hands, sinking into his armchair. He’s said too much. He’s not said enough. His voice doesn’t sound like himself.
Sherlock thinks John has left. But then, he hears cautious footsteps. A pause. And then, John’s hand is on his knee, and Sherlock looks up, and John has bent down in front of him.
“You’re not-” John’s voice breaks and he coughs, once. “You’re not a machine.” He squeezes Sherlock’s knee. “You’re just… you’re just human.”
Sherlock’s tears are silent. “John, I’m-”
And, John is pulling him close, hugging him tight, and Sherlock can’t speak. He can feel John smile against his neck.
“That was long overdue,” John says, and the humour is back in his voice, something that Sherlock hasn’t heard in a long while. “It’s okay. We’ll figure it out. It’s always the two of us, in the end.”
Yes, Sherlock thinks. He has something to hope for.