Title: Everlasting (4/5)
Summary: A Tuck Everlasting fusion, in which the Holmes brothers have lived for a very, very long time.
A/N: Chinese translation available here. Thank you, rosemarry102!
"What did you say to him?"
Mycroft looked up from the newspaper that he was infuriatingly reading at one in the morning. "Your hair is dishevelled," he said. He looked back down at the paper.
"I asked you a question. What did you say to John?"
"You know precisely what I said to him. I told him that he couldn't tell anyone else about the spring."
"And that's all?"
"I told him that if he broke my little brother's heart, I would make sure he regrets it."
"I told him the same thing that I've been telling you for weeks now. We can't stay here. It won't last."
"You've ruined him. He looks at me now, and....he's...he's sad."
Mycroft glanced over the top of his paper with a smirk. "He's 'sad?'. Eloquent, Sherlock." He turned the page, though he didn't seem to be reading. "All relationships end at some point. You can't possibly have thought you would be together forever. You've barely known him three weeks."
Sherlock didn't speak. Mycroft looked up at him, then back down at his paper. There was a moment of silence, then Sherlock picked up his violin and went into his room, beginning to play as soon as the door shut behind him. Mycroft rubbed at his temple and put down his paper. He sat back in his chair and listened.
“I heard you were quite the hero at the clinic the other day.” They were walking back to Harry’s house after having dinner in town. Sherlock’s voice was teasing, but proud.
John grinned. “It was nothing.”
“Nothing? You stopped someone from going into anaphylactic shock.”
“It was just a peanut allergy.”
“From a child who was unaware he was allergic and was not carrying epinephrine.”
“Well injecting an EpiPen isn’t exactly rocket science.”
“That doesn’t change the fact that you saw what was happening, soothed him so that he would stop panicking, and proceeded to save his life.”
John laughed, shaking his head. “Okay, well when you put it like that...”
They stood outside the gate to Harry’s house. John saw Harry peek out the window, then roll her eyes and close the curtain shut. He smiled and took Sherlock’s hands as they prepared to say goodbye for the night.
“They appreciate the work you do,” said Sherlock. “You’re dedicated to the job, even though, with your experience, you could be in a much higher position.”
John shrugged. “I don’t want a much higher position.”
The nights were getting colder.
When John shivered, Sherlock pulled him close and wrapped his coat around him. John buried his face in Sherlock’s neck, kissing the same spot over and over. His heart felt full and heavy. He pulled away just far enough to speak.
“Do you believe in reincarnation?” he asked.
Sherlock huffed a laugh. John felt the shaking of his chest as Sherlock tried to suppress his amusement.
John smiled. “No, no of course you don’t.” He pressed his forehead to Sherlock’s shoulder. “I don’t either, really. But...well it’s a nice thought. That when I...that we might see each other again. That we might find each other, a lifetime from now.”
Sherlock turned silent and thoughtful.
“From a scientific standpoint," he said. "It doesn't make sense to believe in it, because there's no proof that it exists. However, by the same logic, it doesn't make sense to disbelieve, because there's no proof that it doesn't." He stroked the back of John's neck with two long fingers. “Either way...I won’t stop looking for you.”
There were three days left to the month.
The next day, John was organizing end-of-the-day paperwork at the clinic when he noticed the flashing light on his mobile that meant he had a text. He finished putting away the paperwork, pulled on his coat and checked his phone.
Clues in current case lead to seemingly-abandoned building in middle of woods. SH
Could be dangerous. Join me? SH
John grinned. He sat up, typing out a reply as quickly as he could.
Thought so. I'm outside the clinic. SH
Sure enough, John walked out of the clinic to find Sherlock waiting for him on the bench outside. He was typing on his phone, and glanced up as John came near. He flicked through a few pictures, tilting the screen to show John. "This is what we're looking for. According to my sources, it should be about a three-mile walk from here."
"Three miles?" John asked. "Haven't you ever thought about getting a car?"
Sherlock shrugged. "Cars are not very stealthy," he said. "This way."
They headed down Main Street, past the stores and restaurants that made up the busiest, most bustling part of town, if it could be called that. John thought for a moment that he could get used to this kind of suburban life. London was exciting and diverse and one could find anything they wanted there if they knew where to look, but there was something to be said for the peaceful quiet of a small town where everyone knew each other by name.
John's small, content smile began to fade as he noticed heads turning in their direction. An elderly woman moved out of the way as they passed and glared at them, suspiciously. John did a double take as they walked by.
"Um...Sherlock?" he asked. "Is this town particularly homophobic, or..."
Sherlock frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"That woman just made the sign of the cross as we passed by."
Sherlock turned to look at the woman, who was holding onto the crucifix around her neck and watching as they walked away.
"It's not that," he said. "It seems that Mycroft and I have overstayed our welcome. People have begun to talk. Again."
"Oh." John felt a twinge in his chest, knowing what this meant.
Sherlock didn't follow a path. He took them a little ways down a hiking trail in the forest, then branched off to the right, in a direction John had never been before. He seemed to instinctively know where he was going, as if he had memorized every tree, boulder, and fallen log to create a map of the forest in his head. He didn't once seem lost.
They had been walking for an hour when they came upon the building. It was more than a cabin, but less than a house, looking like it had been abandoned for years. John noticed several cigarette butts littering the steps to the front door. Heavy grey storm clouds were beginning to gather overhead, casting a dull ominous shadow over the property. It was like something inhabited by a wicked witch in a fairy tale.
"So...what's the plan?" John asked. "We obviously can't just barge in."
Sherlock shook his head. "There’s no one inside," he said. He kept hidden behind a large bush, studying the building. "Follow me."
Ducking down low and tip-toeing as best they could, they snuck up to a front window of the house. John held his breath. Sherlock peered inside, and seemed to find what he was looking for.
"I was right," he said. He pulled a few tools out of his pocket and knelt to fiddle with the lock on the front door. The door creaked open as a low rumble of thunder growled in the distance.
The large front room was completely empty, save for a few open briefcases containing scattered papers. Sherlock's eyes scanned the room quickly. He went over to the briefcases and started sifting through.
"Is there something in particular that we're looking for?" John asked.
Sherlock opened his mouth to reply, but when he turned to look at John, his mouth shut and his jaw clenched. His eyes were focused on something past John's right shoulder. A familiar sing-song voice called out to them.
"Sherlock. You came." John turned around to find the man in the Westwood suit standing in the doorway. He slammed the door shut with a sudden hard flick of the wrist. John jumped at the unexpected power behind it. "I was afraid you wouldn't show."
John looked between Sherlock and the man in the Westwood suit. Years worth of history was in the air. The man was confident, but seemed detached. His eyes were void of emotion. Sherlock was trying to act calm and collected, but John could tell that he was upset at himself for having fallen for this trap.
The man in the Westwood suit glanced over at John and smiled. "Oh...you didn't tell me you got a dog." Sherlock bristled. "It must be nice to have a pet."
"Don't even speak about him," Sherlock spat.
The man's eyes widened. "Oh, you like this one," he said. "What is it about him, exactly?"
"What do you want, Moriarty?"
"I have a little offer for you, Sherlock. You see, I thought I had killed you back in London...again. Imagine my surprise when I heard that you had reappeared. Tell me...where is the spring?"
Everyone in the room stood stock-still. John wasn't sure anyone was even breathing.
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh, don't play dumb with me, Sherlock. You know me better than that. I know things. I'm going to find it. I can buy this land for development easy-peasy. Don’t doubt that. It’s just a matter of time. Now, we can do this the easy way. You could tell me where the spring is, and we could benefit from it together."
"Why on earth would he do that?" John asked. Moriarty turned to him as if he had forgotten about John's existence. "He's obviously been hiding this from you for years. Why would you think you can just come here and ask nicely and have him cooperate?"
Moriarty smiled. "Excellent question, pet." He pulled a gun from his jacket and pointed it at John. Sherlock blanched. His eyes went straight to the tiny red laser positioned on John's forehead.
"Now Sherlock, tell me. Where is the spring?"
John was ready to laugh. This was absolutely ridiculous. One life being threatened in favour of millions. He turned to Sherlock. Sherlock's eyes were wide, and all the colour had left his face. His fingertips were shaking slightly, and he was taking quick breaths through his mouth. John's heart sank. He thought back to what Mycroft had told him at the pond: it at once confuses and terrifies him.
Moriarty walked towards John slowly. "I'm waiting for an answer, Sherlock. My trigger finger is feeling particularly twitchy today."
“Why are you doing this?”
"For you, of course. To see you like this. I like to see you dance, Sherlock. You dance so prettily.”
“You have no interest in eternal life? I find that hard to believe. At the very most, your friend Moran must be interested."
Moriarty shook his head. "Moran is not a friend with whom I share my secrets. Moran is a mercenary. He isn't interested in much besides the fact that I pay him handsomely for his services. I should add, by the way, that plans are in place for him to be richly rewarded for your deaths, should you attempt to kill me."
Moriarty walked straight up to John and brushed the muzzle of the gun into his hair. The metal was cold as it ran across John's scalp, and pressed into his temple. The sun had sunk below the horizon, but its heat still lingered in the summer air. A bead of sweat trickled down John's face.
“What would you do if he were really injured?” Moriarty asked. His eyes flickered over to Sherlock. He slid the gun down John's face, and against his neck. “What if my finger just happened to slip? If I nicked him somewhere vital...would you give him a drink, Sherlock? Would you let him live forever?”
"That's the difference between you and I," said Sherlock. "You see the spring as a boon, whereas I know it to be a curse."
Moriarty shrugged. "It's true. Eternal life isn't a gift for everyone." He turned to look at John. "Imagine if your sister could live forever. Why, she'd never be able to drink herself to death."
John forgot for a moment about the gun. He clenched his hand into a fist and swung for Moriarty, just narrowly missing his stomach. Moriarty was small and fast. He twisted and grabbed for John, getting him in a headlock. As John struggled, Moriarty placed the gun right up against the side of John's chest. He shot, the bullet grazing John's skin, making a hole in his shirt and burning him with the explosion. John fell still, and Moriarty pressed the gun solidly to John's temple once more. Sherlock's eyes were closed, his lips pressed together so tightly, they had lost all colour.
"That was a close one, wasn't it, Sherlock? Now answer my question. If I had hurt him a little bit more...if he were bleeding out on the ground right now...would you make him drink from that tiny vial you have in your pocket?"
Sherlock's voice was soft and low. "I wouldn't make John do anything."
“Oh Sherlock, don't be silly. I know you. You’re selfish. You don’t give up your possessions.”
Sherlock looked over at John. His gaze completely ignored the gun pressed to John's head. He looked right into John's eyes.
"It's John's decision whether or not to drink. I wouldn't force him into it, and I wouldn't stop him if he wanted to."
"Why wouldn't he want to?" Moriarty asked, amused. "An eternal life together. Doesn't that sound desirable?"
Sherlock kept his eyes on John. "Immortality is not something to be taken lightly. We would constantly be moving. We would constantly be creating new lives for ourselves. Watching everyone around us grow old and die. I don't usually have trouble distancing myself from others, but John...John would grow close to people, only to have to leave them. There would be no end. To be immortal is to be surrounded by death, and unable to taste it. That would destroy him." Sherlock swallowed. "John has too much here to live for. His job needs him, his sister needs him. He's the only person I trust to protect the spring. The people of this town need someone to look after them, and John is that person."
Moriarty's gun slid down John's body, resting just over his heart. "You love him, Sherlock?"
Sherlock's eyes slid closed. He took a deep breath, then opened his eyes again. His voice was hardened steel.
"Let him go.”
“Or what? What will you do to me?”
Sherlock reached into his pocket and pulled out a vial of water. Moriarty’s eyes glimmered, and for just a second, his grip on the gun loosened. As soon as John saw the tension leave Moriarty's hand, he made his move. He elbowed Moriarty sharply in the stomach, then grabbed his wrist, twisting it around and causing him to drop the gun. Moriarty snarled as John pushed him to the ground, pinning him with one knee to Moriarty’s back.
"He has you well trained," Moriarty purred. John pushed his knee in harder. As Sherlock came closer, John reached out to grab the gun. His hold on Moriarty slipped, and Moriarty suddenly twisted free. He pushed John back, and they struggled on the ground, both reaching for the gun. John saw Sherlock frozen in place, his hands outstretched as if he didn't know what to do without making matters worse. Moriarty was a flurry of movement. John felt metal in his hand, then in Moriarty's hand. They struggled with each other, twisting and turning until finally, a shot rang out. Both bodies lay still. The room was completely silent until Sherlock whispered John's name in a short sob.
John raised his head, his ears ringing. Sherlock ran to him and pulled him backwards, harshly. He looked quickly back and forth from Moriarty to John. John's eyes were wide. He couldn't stop staring at Moriarty's lifeless body, deep scarlet blood beginning to seep out from underneath. Finally, he realized that Sherlock was speaking to him.
"John! Are you alright? John!" Sherlock's hands ran over John's body, frantically. He cupped John's face in his hands.
"He's gone," John whispered, his eyes refocusing on Sherlock. "He's gone."
Sherlock stared at him, then kissed him hard. He pulled John to his feet and started laughing hysterically. John held tightly to Sherlock's hand as Sherlock took out his phone and dialled the first number on his speed dial.
"Mycroft, I need your help."
John didn't hear the rest of the conversation. Sherlock was squeezing the life out of his hand. John was staring at Moriarty's body.
The oppressive heat finally burst in a clap of thunder. A flash of lightning lit the sky just as Sherlock hung up the phone pulled John out the door. They laughed together, overcome with the relief of escape and victory. Thunder rumbled, and the wind began to howl around them.
They hadn't even reached the bottom of the front steps when Sherlock paused again and pulled John into a kiss. John took a step backwards with the sheer force of it, then pushed Sherlock against the side of the building just as the rain began. A clap of thunder sounded, the rain skipping over drizzle and starting right off with a downpour. Sherlock pulled away to look up at the sky. Raindrops clung to his curls and eyelashes. Something twinged in John’s chest at the sight.
“We have to leave,” he whispered, urgently. He took both of Sherlock’s hands in his and kissed them, quickly. “We have to go before anyone finds us here.”
Sherlock nodded and looked to the woods. They burst into a run.
Shooting through the undergrowth, Sherlock lead John down a path that he had never noticed before. It was dark and winding, but Sherlock seemed to know where he was going even with the limited light. The leaves above interlocked so closely that they were almost sheltered from the rain. The cool wet of the storm was a welcome respite from the hot late-August air.
“Where are we going?” asked John, breathlessly.
Sherlock turned, tugged John’s hand to draw him closer, and kissed him hard. He didn’t answer the question when they parted, just looked at John, his pupils visibly expanding as he squeezed John’s hand tighter and pulled him along. John’s heart thumped hard in his chest, and he followed without question.
Another flash of lightning lit the sky above them, and John began to get nervous about running through the woods in the middle of a storm. Thunder rumbled through the sky as they burst into a clearing. They had arrived at the grassy meadow overlooking London.
“How on earth did we get here?” John asked.
“Shortcut.” Sherlock led John toward the tree near the cliffside. The city glittered in front of them, lights flickering, lighting the clouds in the stormy sky. The Eye was a bright red circle. John only had a second to admire it before Sherlock shoved him against the tree and attacked his mouth. John kissed back for half a moment before giggling, slightly stunned and overwhelmed by Sherlock's enthusiasm. Sherlock pulled back to look at him.
"Okay?" he asked. His face was flushed, not entirely from exertion.
John laughed again and pulled him closer. "Come back here."
Sherlock tasted like rainwater. His face and lips were cold from the night air, but his tongue was startlingly hot. John slid both arms under Sherlock's coat, running his hands up and down over Sherlock's back in a continuous effort to crush him closer. The canopy of the tree sheltered them from the rain, though their clothes still felt heavy and damp, slightly too uncomfortable. John was eager to get out of them. He took off his jacket as they kissed, and tossed it to the ground.
Sherlock pulled John’s collar aside and sucked raindrops from the crook of his neck, causing John to shiver. He unbuttoned John's shirt quickly, tugging it off his shoulders and throwing it to the side. John's tags clattered against his chest. He felt electrified, as if the lightning from the storm had exited the clouds and sunk just beneath his skin. Sherlock touched him as though he were trying to memorize every wrinkle and blemish. His hands paused over the scar on John's shoulder, rubbing over it repeatedly, trying to erase it with his fingertips.
"I want to see you," John murmured against Sherlock's skin. He unbuttoned Sherlock's shirt, sucking strong kisses to his collarbone where it was exposed.
Sherlock gasped as if he were just remembering something. "They won't bruise," he said.
"They won't bruise." Sherlock put his fingers to the spot that John had been kissing. "I want to...I want you to mark me, but I don't—I can't—"
John pressed a finger to Sherlock’s lips.
"Shhh..." he whispered.
"I want physical evidence," Sherlock muttered.
John smiled and pulled off Sherlock's coat, spreading it on the ground over a patch of lush grass. "Well you'll just have to settle for really great sex hair." He ran his hand backwards through Sherlock's hair and was rewarded with a low moan. He brought Sherlock's hand up to his lips and unbuttoned his cuff, then kissed the inside of his wrist.
The rain had begun to slow. The waxing crescent moon was now visible as a bright blur behind the storm clouds. Sherlock made a tiny sound in the back of his throat at the feeling of John's lips over his pulse point. He sank to his knees and took John's hands, pulling John down with him. A last rumble of thunder drifted through the clouds. Sherlock laid back and pressed his hips into John's as they kissed.
"Can I touch you?" John asked, his voice rough. "I want to touch you."
"Please," Sherlock answered. He pulled John into another kiss. "Please."
Sherlock's cock twitched under the fabric of his pants, and John wondered briefly when Sherlock had last been with someone. Sherlock gasped when John's hand wrapped around him. He arched his hips up like a cat.
"You're gorgeous," John murmured. His own trousers were becoming very uncomfortable, very quickly. Sherlock noticed. He reached down to rub John's erection through the fabric. John's eyes slid shut briefly.
“Take them off,” Sherlock growled, his fingers teasing at John’s zipper. His voice was becoming deep and breathless. John pulled his pants and trousers down to his knees, then lay down against Sherlock. He thrust against him in a battle for heat and friction.
The feeling of rutting against Sherlock was far more arousing than it should have been. The small, desperate sounds that Sherlock was making brought John dangerously close to orgasm. When he felt himself at the edge, he pulled back, sitting up and taking deep breaths. Sherlock looked up at him, a flush over his face and neck.
"I can't...not yet," John whispered. "I want this to last much longer."
Sherlock reached down and brushed his thumb over John's lower lip. John kissed it, then took it into his mouth, sucking gently at the tip. Sherlock’s eyes were heavy and hooded. When John took Sherlock's thumb deeper into his mouth, swirling his tongue around it, Sherlock's eyes unfocused, and his breath hitched.
John pulled back with a smile. "You like that?" he asked. Sherlock didn't answer, just pulled him down for a long, languid kiss. John kissed a line down Sherlock's chest, over either side of his hips, then nuzzled over Sherlock's prominent hipbone before taking his cock into his mouth.
Sherlock gave a short cry and John felt him tense with the effort to keep his hips in place. Both his hands ran through John's hair and stroked over his neck. He didn't pull John closer, just kept touching him as if he were touching fur or silk.
John felt obscenely turned on just from sucking Sherlock. When Sherlock began to give short cries with every bob of John's head, John brought one hand down to stroke himself. Sherlock saw, and choked out John's name in a warning, his whole body tensing. When John looked up at him, Sherlock came with a low moan. John swallowed around him. He felt delirious, light-headed with desire. His hand moved rapidly over his cock.
Sherlock lay still, eyes closed as he tried to catch his breath. His skin was damp with sweat and rain, his hair clinging to his forehead in wet ringlets. He lifted his head and pulled John down by his tags. Sherlock replaced John's hand with his own, and they kissed as John thrust into Sherlock's fist.
The rain had stopped and the thunder was gone. John's world suddenly exploded with a light brighter than any lightning bolt. He gasped Sherlock's name over and over as Sherlock left kisses against his temple. He slumped down, both their bodies flushed and overheated. A warm wind leftover from the storm drifted across their skin. John opened his eyes and looked to the side, seeing wild amaranth growing like a weed just at the edge of the cliffside.
It took John a few moments before he realized that Sherlock was speaking. He was whispering into John’s neck, eyes closed, brow furrowed.
“I don’t want you to die.”
John looked down at Sherlock and kissed him silent, smoothing a thumb over his cheek and whispering back against Sherlock’s mouth,
“I love you.” He kissed Sherlock again. “I love you.”
Sherlock received a text as the sky began to lighten.
Meet me at the train station. 7:00
He tensed underneath John's body. The clouds parted as the sun rose.
The train station was almost empty. Mycroft stood on the platform with two large suitcases. He looked up from his phone as Sherlock and John neared, glancing down at their entwined hands, then up at Sherlock's hair.
"It leaves in ten minutes," he said. He reached out to shake John's hand. "I trust you'll keep our secret safe?"
John nodded. "I swear it."
Mycroft pursed his lips, looking into John's eyes. "I'm sorry," he murmured. He glanced at Sherlock again before stepping onto the train, taking the suitcases with him.
When they were alone, John noticed that Sherlock was trembling.
"Hey, hey," he said. "It's alright. It'll be alright." Sherlock turned to him. His eyes were dry, but that did nothing to hide his pain. John pulled him in, and they clung together tightly.
"We'll talk," said John, attempting to convince both of them. "We'll text. Modern technology, yeah? We can phone and we can video chat. We can e-mail. You'll come back in the future, won't you? We'll see each other again?"
Sherlock nodded, fiercely. "I'll come back. I don't know when or for how long, but I'll come back."
"So this isn't goodbye. Not really."
Sherlock looked down at the ground. "I'll find Moran. I'll find him, and I'll kill him, and you'll be safe."
"And I'll protect the spring. No one will ever discover its secret, as long as I live."
John tipped Sherlock's face back up and kissed him deeply. When they parted, he pulled the tags from around his neck and looped them around Sherlock’s.
“Take these with you,” he said. “Something to remember me by.”
Sherlock clutched the tags in one hand. “I won’t ever forget you,” he said. He reached into his pocket, and pressed a glass vial into John’s hand. It was nothing special: small, insignificant, average-looking, filled to the top with water. John didn’t need Sherlock to explain what it was.
“Keep it with you. In case you ever need it,” Sherlock said. John nodded. They didn’t meet each others’ eyes.
Sherlock held tightly to the tags around his neck. John slid the vial into his pocket. The conductor called out for last-minute passengers. They looked up at the same time.
“Stay safe,” John whispered.
“I can’t die.”
“I know, but...”
Sherlock took John’s hand and brought it to his lips. “I’ll come back.”
When they kissed again, it was a finality. Sherlock looked at John, and closed his eyes. His thumb rubbed methodically over the metal of the tags. John watched as Sherlock walked towards the train, his head bowed. He didn't turn back. The conductor ushered him in, and closed the door behind him.
The train whistled and let off a burst of steam.
John felt hollow.
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