I’ve gotten a few asks on my previous rant about Sherlock’s dickery, WHICH IS SO GREAT AS TO EXTEND INTO LOWER EARTH ORBIT.  But seriously, Belladonnaq phrases it in a particularly fine way, so I’ll reply to this one. 

belladonnaq asked prettyarbitrary:

Could you maybe interpret the manipulation at the end that Sherlock knew John would never talk about it unless they were under dire circumstances? John even says “This isn’t easy for me” to which Sherlock responds “I know.” Meaning he understands how difficult the speaking of it and moving on would be for John. Maybe Sherlock knew John needed that extra push to speak what he was really feeling and give him that opportunity. And in turn that gave Sherlock his opportunity as well.

Yes, that is an excellent point!

However.  The problem with it is that neither of them are actually saying anything new, or anything they can’t/haven’t said before.  Sherlock said nothing in that scene that he hadn’t already said to John’s face previously in the episode (at that point he’s apologized at least two or three times).  And despite John’s claim that ‘this is difficult for him,’ John HAS said words much like those before.

The difference is, of course, that John usually doesn’t spout his emotions quite so bluntly.  He does the man thing.  Touchy-feely is more comfortable for him when it’s indirect.

So, the only alternative read I can see is that Sherlock is hoping, much like a child, that if he forces John to come out and say the words ‘I forgive you’ then it will somehow in fact make everything better.  Which

1: isn’t how it works

2: doesn’t make it any less traumatic or cruel. And

3: Sherlock still laughs at him.

Now, Sherlock consistently demonstrates throughout the episode that, in the face of SEEING how badly he’s truly hurt John, he truly is sorry and wants him to feel better.  So he really isn’t a psychopath, or a laughing maniac who just does it all because he thinks it’s funny.  But he’s still a cruel, thoughtless, selfish dick who tortures his friends in their most vulnerable moments.  Just because you want good to come of it doesn’t make it okay to do that to people (unless you’re a Republican in the US Senate).

I’ll give him that he is as unthinkingly brave, generous and regretful for John’s sake as he is unthinkingly cruel.  He treats John like a child treats a friend when they’re too young to have caught on yet that ‘friends’ is about the other person at least as much as you.

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