John Leaves Sherlock Alone for Seven Days

John shifted his bag up higher on his shoulder. “Sherlock?” He rapped his knuckles on Sherlock’s bedroom door. “My car’s here, I’ve got to go.” He paused, waiting for a response. “Sherlock?”

Nothing. He sighed. “I know you’re not asleep, and I know you can hear me.” He also knew that Sherlock was standing on the other side of the door, his shoulders braced against the panel. Pointing that out would be rude, though. “Okay, I’ll call when I’m wheels down in country, so you know I’ve arrived safely. Text me, but remember the time difference; please don’t wake me up to ask where Mrs. Hudson is at two am local time. Mycroft says I’ll have full internet access, so send me an email if there’s something more complicated you need. The surgery has my number and email, they shouldn’t call here, but if they do, please remind them I’m out of town.

“There are frozen meals in the freezer, and the local take out numbers are on the fridge. Please eat. Don’t forget your pot of hair is still on the stove, and it smells bad enough simmering. If the water boils out of that and I come back to a burned out mess of human hair in our best saucepan, I will not be pleased.” He could almost mouth along with Sherlock, ‘it’s an experiment,’ but he didn’t. “Mrs. Hudson’s going to look in on you every day, she promised, and she will tattle you out if you’re smoking or indulging while I’m gone, you know she will.”

He paused, and rested his forehead against the door. “Sherlock. I’ve got to go. Will you please come out and say good-bye?” He waited, but there was only silence. Then, from the street, the car’s horn gave a polite honk, and John sighed. “I will be back in a week,” he said, calm and precise about it. “If there’s any delay, I’ll let you know immediately. I am coming back.” He felt silly saying it, of course he was coming back, but he’d learned by now that for all his deductive prowess, Sherlock did better when emotional things were made as plain as possible.

John straightened up, his fingers ghosting on the panel of the door. “I’ll see you soon, Sherlock. Please take care of yourself while I’m away, all right?”

Shouldering his bag, he turned away from Sherlock’s bedroom, making it all the way to the door of the flat before he heard the door open. “John?”

He glanced back, grinning. “Yes?”

Sherlock looked miserable, his face drawn up in a pout, his brows a furious line, his shoulders hunched and his arms crossed protectively in front of his body. “Be careful. Please.”

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2 thoughts on “John Leaves Sherlock Alone for Seven Days

  1. This post reminded me a lot of what we discussed in class on Monday because of how the two characters challenge the traditional gender norms that are enforced in society. Showing emotion and tending for another individual is thought to be more of a feminine characteristic. Throughout this post, you can see the dependence they have on one another, as well as the deep care they have for each other throughout their interactions. They both want to make sure the other is okay, content and safe. This can be seen throughout the entire passage as Sherlock tells John to be careful and John reminds Sherlock of the food that is in the freezer, how the landlord will check-in on him, and how he will make sure to keep in touch with him while he is away. Because of their various interactions throughout this post, it is clear that these two men are performing gender trouble because they are not acting in the traditional masculine way that is constantly seen in the media. This is because they are not acting “tough” and hiding their emotions by pretending not to care that the other is leaving, and you can tell through this section of the story that they will miss each other’s company and the security the other provides. Women are the supposed to be dependent on people, not men. So, in this way, the desire for security enhances their feminine characteristics, as their actions reflect that of women rather than the stereotypical, traditional male that is seen in many films and television shows.

  2. Aww scene makes me smile. I couldn’t help but think the tenderness of this scene. This moment has a lot of cross performances (at least I think). First there’s John, who plays caretaker when he tells Sherlock he’s got frozen dinners for him while he’s gone. He’s insuring that his dear Sherlock won’t starve while he’s away. He also gives him reminders about the week, and to check on the hair that’s been on the stove for a while. Yet, he is also the one who leaves, which stereotypical is what historic male roles do: leave the wife or the girl for a while, maybe to go off and fight war, maybe on a business trip etc…Sherlock, on the other hand, displays a shy, vulnerable side of him. It seems clear that he doesn’t want Watson to go because it hurts to see his partner leave him for this long. Usually, Sherlock is the assertive one, but only when solving a case, maybe not so much when trying to figure out or “solve” his personal feelings/issues.
    For me, the scene reminds me of a classic heterosexual relationship where the guy goes off on some voyage for a while. I mean, think about Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus leaves Penelope who will be waiting for him and of course every war story imaginable. The exception is: it’s not heterosexual, it’s a queer reading of a previously labeled heterosexual scene/situation. This reminded me of a passage in Doty’s article:
    “Queer positions, queer readings, and queer pleasures are part of a reception space that stands simultaneously beside and within that created by heterosexual and straight positions…Queer reception doesn’t stand outside personal and cultural histories; it is part of the articulation of these histories.” (pg. 345)

    I think, what she’s saying is that a stereotypical heterosexual scene can be read as a queer reading and even if society has created a situation and filled it with a female and a male role, that’s not the only way to read it. (Even though, traditionally it has been filled with heterosexual characters). “Queer reception…is a part of the articulation of these histories…”
    Maybe I misinterpreted it and completely bringing up a new point, but it got me thinking about it.
    I think this scene is compelling because it sort of builds tension since Sherlock doesn’t answer to all of John’s remarks, and finally he says, “John?”
    John: “Yes?”
    Sherlock: “Be careful. Please”.
    It’s a simple, sweet, warmhearted ending.

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