John lay in bed far past the time the alarm on his tiny bedside table told him to get up.
He’d set it for seven every night, and every morning he’d dutifully gotten up at it’s call and gone through a routine that seemed to only stifle him more. Ella told him to put structure into his life, because structure was Healthy. And he’d followed it, because as much as he believed whatever he did was pointless, there was part of him that still wished desperately that he could get himself out of this. That he wouldn’t be settling the rest of his life to waking up shaking and sick most nights, or unable to even write his name through the tremors some mornings, or limping around from a pain that shouldn’t even fucking exist.
And so he was going to the support group that she had suggested for this morning, because he needed something to cling to to believe that he could return to normal someday, because the list of things to try was running dangerously thin in his mind. John really didn’t want to think about what would happen when he got to that point. If he got to that point.
He would also be lying if he said that Ella’s reasons for recommending him to this group hadn’t resonated with him. Sitting around like a useless lump, physically unable to actually do anything of significance because of the faulty wiring in his brain. Maybe he’d actually be able to reach some of these people, who had real, legitimate problems that an MD like him could honestly help with. Maybe, just maybe, he’d have a purpose once again.
As the minutes slowly ticked away, though, and John resisted the day starting, he tried not to think about the fact that he was just a patient like the rest of them.
Really, the only thought that finally pushed him out of bed was that at least he wouldn’t have to peck away at that bloody blog anymore.
He’d known he was going to be late for the meeting since he woke up, but of course the Tube would have to be backed up, and John wasn’t exactly the quickest these days when it came to speedy transfers between trains. So when he finally did make it to St. Bart’s for the meeting (and made his way up two flights of stairs, since the visitors’ elevator seemed to be packed with a family eager to see their new cousin/niece/granddaughter), the session was already well-underway. And with the way his luck was going, of course, the man talking about his alcoholism was right in the middle of the most emotional part of the story that seemed to have most of the group in tears.
That is, except for one man, the same man that seemed to be staring at him longer than the obligatory few seconds to glare. It was almost unsettling, and John had no choice but to walk towards him, as the only empty seat was to his left, which he nodded to. John smiled his best “hello-I’m-completely-normal-nice-to-meet-you” smile and sat down.
John honestly did try his best to listen to the remainder of the man’s story, but it was a bit hard when he could feel himself being scrutinized from the side. As it turned out, he didn’t have to wait too long to find out more this person. Apparently there was some kind of order to the speeches (which John was extremely thankful for, as he didn’t want to make a late and awkward introduction and already had a sweaty grip on his cane), and when a “Sherlock” was called, the staring man beside him looked up.
Well, he had an interesting name, John had to give him that.
Sherlock pulled a face immediately, and his mouth twisted into an unimpressed scowl as his attention turned from John to the others in the circle. He sniffed, clapped his hands together and then leaned his shoulder towards Watson, bumping into him.
"Excuse me." He said softly. "Would you happen to have a banknote, and sort will do, I’ll give it back I just need it, I need it. I just I need it to illustrate a point, you see."
Holmes held out his hand expectantly and watched as the blue-eyed solider blinked and him once and then reached for his wallet at Holmes had expected him too. After all, they were in a group and everyone witnessed the fact he’d just said he’d give the money back — why wouldn’t he comply? He didn’t need the money anyway, but from his position beside the solider, he got a quick glance into his wallet when he opened it. Holmes smiled and held the money back out to Watson the moment after it graced his palm. “On second thought, mate, you’d better hold on to this.”
Sherlock turned back to address the group, all of whom (besides the man who’s name he’d just learned was John Watson) looked at him with sympathy. A few, he imagined, even suspected that he’d pulled the little stunt with the banknote to try to avoid talking about himself for a little longer. They were actively wrong, but passively right. As in, he was stalling but not how they all thought. He had a better plan than just fumbling with someone else’s money.
"Hello." He swallowed and fixed his eyes on the shoes of the man directly opposite. He didn’t like eye contact, avoided it when he could. Holmes believed that looking into a person’s eyes meant focus would always remain their. It was like looking directly into the light of the sun; if he did that he’d miss the smaller details; he wouldn’t be able to see the rest of the stars. "My name is Sherlock Sherringford Holmes and I’m here because I used to be a prostitute. I slept with other men for money, not because I needed it or because I had any habit to support — no, I did it because I wanted to and because is pissed off my rich father. He put me in rehab for it, lied about why I there and then made me attend these meetings. I’m not supposed to tell anyone the truth — I’m supposed to say I did a lot of cocaine and other drugs, but now you know why I’m really here and, well, probably think I shouldn’t be. I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, if I were you, I’d hate someone like me for being in a meeting like this at all."
He nodded his head and sat back in his chair fair enough to take the two front legs off the cement floor and then clapping them back down with a bang. He shook his knees once and then leaned towards Watson, sticking his hands beneath his thighs as he started to talk again. For a second, just a split second, he raised his eyes to meet John’s before dropping them to the doctor’s shoes.
"Take this man. This man has every reason to be here. He’s a veteran, and a doctor. Afghanistan — or Iraq, sorry but I can never remember — shot there, back here with all the stress and depression that accompanies any solider after a war." He traced his bottom lip with his tongue and raises both eyebrows as if something just occurred to him. "And all the access to medications that any doctor ought to have. Truthfully, everyone here should just love you — though it might not help their addictions…"
Holmes got to his feet, gave the stunned circle a quick once over and spun on his heels. He was done with these people. They had nothing for him. But he’d come to the meeting and he’s shared, as he was supposed to, so neither his therapist or his sperm-donor of a father could say anything about it.