“If a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know?”
lol yes, so then i can shave.
Because I’m a morbid asshole this is what I began thinking of:
You look at it nearly every day. It’s still up there, years away in fact, and that’s fine. But sometimes you watch it. You watch the number tick away and you wonder and you dream and you try not to expect too much because you know no matter what it’ll be perfect. One a year when it becomes the exact future anniversary you watch it and count down to 0 and get giddy. Only ten more years. Only seven more years. Only four more years.
Then one day you wake up. You stretch. You smile. You check. Just because. And something is wrong. All the numbers say 0. Something horrible has happened.
why would you post something like that
Oh, god, I’m going to end up writing a -
From the day Sherlock could count, the clock on his wrist had confused him.
“But what does it do?” he asked his mother disdainfully. “What is it’s purpose?”
His mother just smiled down at him and rubbed over the spot on her own wrist. Sherlock could see that it was down to all zeros. Time had run out, but he didn’t know what it was timing. She crouched down next to him and took his wrist in her hand, glancing down at it for a moment.
“One day,” she said, “you’re going to meet someone. The most important person you’ve ever met. Then, the clock will say zero.”
“It’s counting down to the day I meet someone?” Sherlock questioned. His tone was near disgusted. “That’s ridiculous. What’s the point of that? And don’t say I’m too young to understand. That doesn’t work.”
She shook her head and repeated, “the most important person you’ve ever met, Sherlock.”
“I don’t like people,” Sherlock said adamantly. “They’re annoying.”
She stood back up and ruffled his hair fondly, ignoring his huffs of protest. “You’ll understand, when it happens,” she assured, walking away. Sherlock frowned at the floor and stomped off to the sitting room to read, angry that his mother wouldn’t give him a straightforward explanation.
Later on, as he managed his way through boredom and bullies and endless hours of school, he started hearing more about it. Excited quips from girls, squealing and showing each other their wrists. He would sneak around and listen, struggling through their annoying giggles long enough to finally hear; the timer counting down to the day you’d meet the most important person you’d ever meet. Your soul mate.
The words made him cringe in digust. The fact that he even had a working timer was horrid; it meant he’d end up meeting someone he would be deigned to remain with for the rest of his life. How could someone stand a single person for such a long amount of time?
The time on his wrist, by age ten, still read over 40 years.
John spent more time than he liked to admit thinking about what his soul mate would be like.
What colour is their hair? What are their interests? Do they like sports, or do they prefer to read? What do they do? What’ll they think of me?
The final question, he knew, was ridiculous; they’d love him, just as he’d love them. That was how it worked. The question was always nagging at his mind, though.
He was something of a romantic, you could say. He liked the idea of lying around with someone, cuddling with them on cold days and teasing, flirting like no one else mattered.
He hadn’t even met his soul mate and he was enamoured of them.
The time on his wrist read 30 years on his first day of medical school, and he wondered why he was one of the few who had to wait so long. He continually told himself it would be worth it, eventually.
It was the first proper case Lestrade had actually, legitimately, asked Sherlock to come to, and he was being harassed about his timer.
“For god’s sake!” he shouted, practically ripping his sleeve as he tugged it back down. “Yes, I do have one, yes, it is functioning!”
Anderson was sneering at him from a distance and Sherlock had half a mind to chin him right then.
“Jesus, calm down, Sherlock!” Lestrade exclaimed, holding his hands up defensively. “It’s just - you know, a surprise. For you.”
“Not like I ruddy well control whether or not I have one,” the detective hissed, absentmindedly rubbing his wrist.
The rest of the people in the room glanced around awkwardly, hands unconsciously touching the marks on their own arms. Lestrade kept eyeing Sherlock in a way he believed to be inconspicuous until Sherlock finally snapped and remarked, “is it proof enough?”
“Proof of what?” Lestrade questioned, confused.
“Proof enough for you and your team that I’m a human being, even if I’d rather not be.”
Lestrade expression fell and he looked away, internally upset with himself. “How much time is left?”
“What’s it your business?” Sherlock muttered.
The time had jumped from ten years to twenty yesterday afternoon, and he berated himself for feeling anything by it.
It was the only word present in John’s mind. Bloody accurate in so many senses. Burning desert sun, burning bullet embedded in his shoulder, burning ground against his back, burning throat as he let out strangled cries and raggedly inhaled dust.
Pain nearly covered it, but burning was more specific.
On top of the searing in his shoulder (searing worked pretty well, too), there was a hard throbbing in his right wrist, and he could see behind his eyes that the number of days until he met his soul mate were spinning rapidly, counting down.
Hell, maybe they’re dead, too, he thought. The burning sun became blotched out with black spots and John was lost to the world, writhing in the dirt unconsciously.
Sherlock’s eyes snapped open and he cried out in surprise, gripping his arm and working his jaw through an unexpected throb of pain. That… Definitely didn’t feel right.
He did a once-over of his arm and found nothing wrong until his eyes passed over his wrist. The numbers all read zero in dark red font and Sherlock’s expression faltered.
Just the day before they’d read four years, nine months. Something had gone wrong.
John’s eyes flew back open and he wheezed, trying to work against the pain in his lungs as he scraped along for air.
Broken ribs, his mind supplied. You’ve just had a heart attack, too. Don’t forget the bullet wound, of course. Sorry, you were thinking about your soul mate? Good bloody luck.
If he’d had enough oxygen, John would’ve shouted for it to shut up. He could feel hands working on him, inexperienced and trembling, moving too fast, too shoddy.
“Stay with me, mate,” the soldier begged. “God help us.”
Sherlock watched as the numbers started re-appearing.
1 day, 2 days. 3. 4. 5. 6.
They jumped back down to zero and his stomach flipped. They started over.
… 10, 12, 15, 22.
7, 17, 20.
The detective growled in frustration and rubbed his thumb hard over the mark.
“Make up your mind!” he shouted at it, watching as it climbed to 30 and dropped again. Every time it hit zero, he’d feel a stab of pain in his chest, a heavy weight on his heart.
The number rose once more and stopped at sixty-eight days.
If he felt a swell of warmth and relief, he dismissed it.
Since returning home, John had stopped checking his wrist. There’d been too much distraction; teary visits from his mum and tense ones from Harry. Trying to find somewhere to stay while he was healing and until he could find a job of some kind.
“I heard you were abroad somewhere, getting shot at! What happened?”
“… I got shot.”
There was something nagging at the back of his head, but he couldn’t place it. He felt different - almost better.
“Come on - who’d want me for a flatmate?”
It wasn’t until he stepped in the door of that lab.
“Mike, can I borrow your phone? There’s no signal on mine.”
John snapped his gaze up and his right hand clenched around the head of his cane. That voice; that gorgeous baritone sent a chill down his spine and made his chest feel like it was inflating.
“Ah - here. Use mine,” he offered breathlessly. Sherlock met his gaze and something flickered over his expression. His eyes darted down to his wrist and he lifted his sleeve just a centimetre - enough to make his breath hitch.
“Mike, give us a moment,” he ordered. Mike eyed them, back and forth, before complying and standing to walk out.
“Be back in ten minutes, mate, I ought to go check on something anyhow,” he said to John before he walked out. Sherlock stood as soon as the door shut and strode over to John, looming over him so close that John had to take a step backwards.
“Does it read zero?” Sherlock hissed. “Plain, grey zero?”
John wet his lips and sputtered a moment. Sherlock rolled his eyes and snatched the cane from John’s hand, taking his arm in the other and shoving up his sleeve.
0000d 00h 00m 00s
“Afghanistan or Iraq?” Sherlock demanded.
“What?” John asked, bewildered.
“Answer the question; Afghanistan or Iraq?”
“Afghanistan,” John managed. “How did you - “
“You were shot. You died, went into cardiac arrest, four times,” Sherlock said.
“How do you know this?” John asked.
Sherlock released John’s arm roughly and undid the cuff on his right arm, holding it out for John to see. The doctor ran a finger over it gingerly, then encircled Sherlock’s wrist with his hand. “Did you know,” Sherlock murmured, “if your soul mate - ” he said the word like it was filthy, but his gaze was still soft ” - dies, you can feel it? It shows up red on your wrist and it physically pains you.”
John swallowed and smiled tightly. “To be quite fair, I think the bullet hurt worse,” he quipped.
“What’s your name?” Sherlock asked.
The two stared at each other in a haze, eyes scanning over each other’s faces like they were committing them to memory.
“You’re looking for a flatmate?” John inquired eventually, softly.
Sherlock grinned and John grinned back, sliding his hand from Sherlock’s wrist to link their fingers together.