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Hello again! I’m back 😀

Okay, so everyone knows how I got into BBC Sherlock, right? Okay. Good. We’re all on the same page, then.

Needless to say, Sherlock is the first fandom that I’ve actually written a fanfic for, other than Star Wars. Believe it or not, some of the other fandoms I’m in (BBC Merlin, Redwall and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, Madeleine L’Engle’s works, Kidnapped and Treasure IslandThe Scarlet Pimpernel and sequels, A Tale of Two Cities, Rise of the Guardians, Lord of the Rings, various other books by Tolkien, books by G.A. Henty, the late, great Jonathan Park radio adventure drama, etc., etc.)… they’re not all that conducive to fanfiction. At least, I’m not inspired therein. So Sherlock fanfiction is really a new thing for me–broadening my horizons, so to speak. But, I’m not that good at writing mysteries or crime drama, having a tendency to break the suspense too soon, among other things… Fortunately, Sherlock lends itself well to character studies and character stories. Probably all my Sherlock fanfiction–that is to say, if I ever write any more–will be limited to one-part short stories. But that doesn’t really bother me. After all, the characters are great and fun to work with, and there’s an obnoxious high-functioning sociopath and a jaded ex-military surgeon who is probably also my definition of a good Christian, judging by his actions… what’s not to love? ;-D

Sorry about the long-winded explanation. Please don’t skip this bit.

This story, according to my standards, is a clean story. Knowing the nature of human-kind and the nature of the show itself, there are probably lots of horrible stories out there which involve things that would sicken me. The show itself is a bit dark, as well as sophisticated, definitely not something I would recommend for anyone under twelve. But this is just pure introspection, with no mention of adult themes, except that the good doctor is under the impression that Sherlock really is dead. So I’d rate this one PG, but only because it deals with inferences to suicide. Please bear in mind that I have not seen The Richenbach Fall or the premiere for the third season, so be merciful. ;-P

Oh dear. I didn’t mean to include a whole review of Sherlock in this! Oh well…

This song-fic is written to the marvelous song How to Save a Life, by The Fray. I understand this is a bit of an older song and is often confused with a movie with a similar name (aka the celebrated To Save a Life), but in my opinion it’s a song everyone should hear.

Enjoy!

How to Save A Life

Step one, you say, “We need to talk.”

He walks, you say, “Sit down. It’s just a talk.”

He smiles politely back at you

You stare politely right on through

Some sort of window to your right

As he goes left and you stay right

Between the lines of fear and blame

You begin to wonder why you came

                “We need to have a talk.” John said. Sherlock stopped for a moment.

“A talk?” he asked.

“Yes, a talk. It’s where two people sit down and agree to get things plain, clear and straight, for once.” John said, stressing “straight” in hopes that Sherlock would actually pay attention. If only it were that easy to get things through his thick head…

“So?” Sherlock began to walk away again.

“And we need to have one,” John said, rising quickly and grabbing Sherlock’s wrist. Sherlock frowned at him in annoyance. Though John was shorter, he was strong, and there was little to be gained by trying to escape his grip.

John could practically see the thoughts going through Sherlock’s mind. Sherlock allowed him to pilot him to the couch, though with a scowl that said he was patently not pleased. He could have gone and jumped in a lake as far as that look went, for all John cared.

“Why are we having a talk, John?” Sherlock asked. John fixed him with a steely glare.

“Ah, now that’s the right question.”

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                Things were going wrong, badly wrong. John’s phone rang. He scarcely comprehended the conversation. One thing was clear. Horribly clear.

Sherlock was going to jump.

Let him know that you know best

‘Cause after all you do know best

Try to slip past his defense

Without granting innocence

Lay down a list of what is wrong

The things you’ve told him all along

Pray to God, he hears you

And I pray to God, he hears you

                “I think we haven’t been communicating nearly well enough, Sherlock,” John said as he sat down in the armchair across from his friend. “You’ve been shutting me out.”

“Have I?” Sherlock said, his voice level, but instead of the eyebrow that normally would go up challengingly John saw genuine surprise—or at least the Sherlock Holmes version of it—on Sherlock’s face. It suddenly occurred to him that maybe Sherlock wasn’t aware that he had been shutting him out.

“You’ve been… distant,” John continued, somewhat more sympathetically. “And I want to know why.” I want to be there for you. Because that’s what friends do.

And where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                In amidst the anguish of watching his best friend die, John could not help but wonder why he had never spent more of the nights when Sherlock had been awake with his friend. He thought over all the moments he had lost, wishing that he had been less careless. He remembered something his orderly in the army used to say: No one lives without regret.

It was all too true.

As he begins to raise his voice

You lower yours and grant him one last choice

Drive until you lose the road

Or break with the ones you’ve followed

He will do one of two things

He will admit to everything

Or he’ll say he’s just not the same

And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

                “Don’t worry about it, John,” Sherlock said confidently. “It’s all well in hand.”

“But I still want to know about it,” John insisted. Sometimes, it felt like he was driving down a dead-end road. Or maybe he should try another tactic? “Sherlock, I’m your friend. Please, tell me. Other people do this sort of thing all the time.”

“I’m not other people,” Sherlock said.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                Who had Sherlock been kidding? It had never been under control. And now everything was… was wrong.

As John ran around the building to his friend’s side, he couldn’t help but wonder, why?!

Why, Sherlock?!

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                Pointless.

How to save a life

                So utterly pointless.

How to save a life

                Like his life, after he had been honorably discharged from the army and before Sherlock.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                As he knelt by Sherlock’s side, searching for a pulse, he couldn’t help but wonder why, again.

They took his best friend—his first friend—his only true friend—away in an ambulance, but John knew the bad news already.

It was as good as taking him away in a hearse.

Sherlock Holmes was dead.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend

Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life

                He left 221b Baker Street for a new place the next day, with a farewell (tearful, on her part) and many thanks to Mrs. Hudson.

He looked at the wall, which was already being repaired and re-papered after Sherlock’s stunt with the smiley face in spray paint and bullet marks. So easy to erase, so quiet…

Unlike his memories.

How to save a life

                Sherlock watched John, for the first time in his life, almost shy. It was finally time to come back… two years later.

He was strangely afraid, curiously awkward, though he couldn’t wait to see John again. He wanted to tell his friend all the things he had never been able to say—and knew he never could. But John would understand anyway. He always did.

He wanted to tell John how it was the thoughts of him, and Mrs. Hudson, and Molly had kept him going.

He wanted to thank him for getting him off the drugs.

He wanted to tell him thank you for never stopping believing in him, even when times got rough.

He wanted to tell him thank you for saving his life.

Because, in so many ways, John had.

How to save a life

                “Hello, John.”

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