But he’d still done it – a vow he’d sworn to uphold, that he’d stuck by for over six months, and he’d thrown it out the window as soon as Sherlock was threatened. But he couldn’t regret it, not really – he Sherlock. People (indeed, Sherlock himself) might claim that the man was emotionless, but he wasn’t.John might have tried to suppress his empathy but he still felt Sherlock’s emotions leaking out of him, wavering through the air like heat shimmers.Other people hated, and pretended fondness because it was politic.Other people , full stop, and the mixed signals – the confusion between what his empathy was telling him and what his eyes and ears told him – often gave John headaches.He needed to be careful with this.--“Do you object to rich bankers in general or Sebastian Wilkes in particular? “You barely spoke to him, and didn’t shake his hand when we left.”“Yeah, well, he’s kind of an arsehole,” John muttered.”John turned his head, jerked out of the breathing exercise he’d been engaging in to try to calm himself down. He couldn’t say that Sebastian’s frustration had scraped over him like piano wire, setting his teeth on edge like fingernails dragged over chalkboard.
Before Kemp, John had never really thought to use it as a weapon.There was never any kind of confusion with Sherlock, and it was refreshing.Correction, it was bloody magnificent, and John knew he would have put up with a lot worse than casual insults and disregard for his personal autonomy just to tag along after that kind of clarity.If John didn’t have his empathy, he might have stood a better chance at keeping his head when he was dealing with the stupid chip and pin machine.But he always got so frustrated in grocery stores; so many other people were rushing around –frantic to pick up tonight’s dinner before their kids got off school, wishing the line in front of them would move just a bit faster, cursing the customer in front of them for taking the last bit of smoked cheddar – that John couldn’t help but pick up on it.He always tried to make his shopping trips short because after twenty minutes he started to become restless and impatient, like he was inhaling that cloud of frustration and it was slowly permeating his blood, an emotional form of passive smoking.The tube was another problem place for much the same reasons, which was why John preferred to walk and didn’t grumble (much) over Sherlock’s love of cabs.Sherlock had emotions, of course he did, but he was more controlled about them than other people.At least, those not linked to frustration or excitement – those were always on clear display. Other people got angry, then pretended they weren’t because they didn’t want others to think they had a temper.Gradually, through comments of , not in the way John did.They didn't feel a faint curl of sadness in the back of their mind when someone was crying, they didn't feel a flicker of embarrassment and shame when someone tripped over in the street, and they couldn't cheer someone up just by thinking really happy thoughts at them.