The Case for Humanity, Reality,and Touch
The Case for Humanity, Reality, and Touch
Last one, thank you so much for reading! Don't forget to let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!
Sherlock was lying on his back on the sofa, his arms locked over his chest, his face set in a firm and impenetrable mask. John swung open the door and saw him thus, but didn't say anything as he removed his coat and dumped his other things from work onto the nearby chair.
Going into the kitchen, John scrubbed his hands and dried them on the towel, returning to the common area and removing his laptop from his satchel, bending, and plugging it into the outlet. Sherlock still hadn't moved. An extraordinarily fascinating double murder had been keeping him up all hours for the past three days, and now that the case was finally concluded, John suspected he was tired.
His forehead shifted as his brow lowered still further, as Sherlock clenched his jaw, tightening his arms over his chest. John was a little concerned.
"Sherlock?" he asked, crossing the room, and standing before the detective. "Are you alright?"
There was no response. John sighed; this was not unusual. Regularly, Sherlock would 'shut down' as he put it, and neither speak nor move for hours. Normally this would happen when he was thinking deeply about something, but now...
"You feeling alright?" he repeated. Sherlock didn't move. "Want a smoke?" he hazarded, fully expecting the man to leap up and grab him by the shoulders, asking eagerly if that was allowed. He still didn't move. John sighed again, crossing his arms.
"Prove to me that you're alive, at least."
"I can't." Two words, spoken in a low, husky voice, devoid of emotion, hope, or life.
"Don't be silly." John sat down next to Sherlock's legs, feeling the detective shy away from the touch. "Of course you're alive."
"The saying is 'I think, therefore I am.'"
A long silence.
"Yeah, I've heard it. So, what do you mean? You think." He chuckled. "That's all you do."
"I am a brain, then. But not a human."
"I'm pretty sure you're a human," John put in, but stopped at the pale look on the other man's face.
"John, I don't feel like I exist..." Sherlock's voice caught, and John stared. Was Sherlock -
"Of course you exist. You think, you move, you breathe -"
"But I can't prove it."
"Don't be ridiculous. Other people see you, talk to you..."
"It could be an illusion."
John sighed, and at last lay a hand on Sherlock's shoulder. The detective flinched and his eyes flew open.
"Do you feel that?" said the doctor, evenly.
"Feelings don't prove -"
"Do you feel that?" His eyes met Sherlock's.
Sherlock nodded. John didn't remove his hand, but added a bit of warm pressure, and the detective's eyes closed, after a long moment reaching up a cold finger and tracing it over the veins which stood out on the top of John's hand.
"I exist," he whispered. "I am real."
"I told you," John said quietly.
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