John sat at his laptop, staring at the empty space on his blog. It had been a while since he had sat down to type something intelligent and interesting, but today he felt he should write something. Anything. Today was the anniversary of Sherlock's - his old roomate and best-friend's death. John deemed today to be an appropriate day to pay homage in some small way. He began to type.
Three years. Three years today. There is so much to say, but cannot be expressed in words. I used to wonder why he did what he did. I still don't know why. All I hope is he is somewhere better. I believe in Sherlock Holmes. I still continue to do so. He was my best friend.
John hit the send button, and his blog was updated. He stared at the screen blankly for a few minutes, before resting his head in his hands. He inhaled deeply, like his therapist had directed him to do, and exhaled, trying to relax his trembling limbs. He expected it to get easier. With each passing anniversary of Sherlock's death, time was supposed to heal the wound that Sherlock had left behind. Sure, John may be a little more hardened to the sharp jolt he felt in his heart when he returned to an empty 221B. That didn't stop the ache he felt when he sat in his chair, the chair that was opposite to a very empty one.
John was jolted out of his wave of sadness as his phone bleeped into life. Expecting it to be Lestrade, John sighed and reluctantly picked it up. What John read next made his heart stop.
I still am. - SH
Just three words. Three words and that signature. That was how he always signed off his texts. John checked the number, and to his horror saw that it read 'Sherlock'. He hadn't got rid of Sherlock's mobile number from his phone, even after he had died. So someone had Sherlock's old phone. The bastard. Suddenly angered, John realised that this was probably some joker playing around. How dare they! Didn't they have anything better to do than mess about with a guy's broken heart? John took matters into his own hands. He rang the number and waited for the other end to pick up. They didn't. Cowards. John was about to turn his phone off. He couldn't deal with pranksters right now. But then his phone bleeped again.
Perhaps that was the wrong way to begin this. John, it's me. - SH
John stared at his phone in disbelief. Was there really no bounds to some people's cruelty? Since ringing hadn't worked, texting would have to do.
Listen, whoever this is, leave me alone. I'm done with impostors. - JW
John didn't know why he signed off JW. He had only done that with Sherlock. But the prankster wasn't done with him yet.
John, I cannot ring you, but I need you to understand. This is Sherlock. I am NOT dead. - SH
John laughed. Did this person think John would fall for that? He had seen Sherlock fall, had been to the funeral and his gravestone. John had already had to deal with the media storm caused by Sherlock's death, so knew how to deal with these people. And yet - something about the way the stranger spoke - it was familiar.
How did you get Sherlock's phone? - JW
John, for god's sake. I know this is hard for you to understand, but I am Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes. - SH
John was tired. But he decided to go along with this nutter's game.
Say you are Sherlock. Tell me something about me that only he knows. Then I will know you are telling the truth - JW
That would get the impostor for sure. There were secrets only Sherlock knew about John, and vice-versa. The response was immediate.
When we played Cluedo that one time, since we could not play it afterwards, you were Professor Plum. I observed that the murderer must have been the victim, as all the clues indicated. You said I was wrong. You were right. I got so annoyed at myself because I was wrong, but I was proud that you were right. I am never proud of anyone. Except you. - SH
Huh. This impostor was good. That memory floated back to John. It had just been John and Sherlock in the flat that day. It still didn't mean this was really Sherlock. Sherlock never complimented anyone.
You're correct. Still doesn't mean you are Sherlock. Try again. - JW
John was beginning to think something was really odd about all this. It was strange enough that someone was texting from Sherlock's phone, which hadn't been in use for three years. What made it weirder was that it was possible the stranger was telling the truth. John hated to admit it, but the hope that fluttered in his heart was beginning to out-weigh his doubt.
Fine. That time I was injured from a mugging. You found me outside 221B frightened and shaking, two things I would never freely admit to doing. You took me inside the flat and cleaned the blood off of me. We were silent throughout the entire ordeal, until I said:
'People would talk, if they saw you cleaning my dirty body.' You looked at me and said:
'People do little else.' We never spoke of this to anyone else. Tell me now you don't believe me. - SH
John gasped. There was no way the stranger could have known about this. Sherlock had never gone to the police or hospital, and John had cleaned him in an almost borderline-platonic manner. That must mean that Sherlock was really alive. But how?
Sherlock? That's really you isn't it? - JW
John began to shake with anxiety. This couldn't be a joke. Please let it not be a joke.
I'm willing to be patient with you, as I know this is a shock. But yes John. I am alive. - SH
John finally believed. He believed Sherlock was alive. This changed everything. Absolutely everything. Happiness overwhelmed him.
But I saw you fall! - JW
Yes, you did. - SH
But, you're not dead? - JW
You saw me fall, John. You didn't see me hit the ground. - SH
John sat up straight in his chair. He looked at his phone in confusion.
I did though! I saw blood, I took your pulse... I took your pulse... - JW
John's memory flashbacked to that awful moment. It was the last time he had been able to touch Sherlock, to see him before he was carted off into St. Barts. His head had been crowned in blood and… John had to stop his train of thought to stop tears from building up. That was in the past. Sherlock was alive now. Deal with that now John. Forget the past.
Honestly John, don't be obvious. Rhododendron Ponticum, we saw it the day before, in fact. It slows down blood pressure and makes a pulse undetectable. Unfortunately it also stimulates tears... - SH
Sherlock's sarcastic manner began to irritate John, and he welcomed it. It felt normal again.
You total bastard! You left me alone for three years! Why the hell? - JW
It was necessary. - SH
This really began to rile John's feathers. Happy in the knowledge that his best friend was alive, the questions began to set in and John wanted answers. A lot of answers.
Necessary for what? I don't understand. Why did you fake your death? - JW
To keep you alive. - SH
Sorry, think I missed something. How does you dying make me live? - JW
You're intelligent, John, think! - SH
Sherlock called him intelligent? Since when?
What's with the compliments? - JW
I will happily tell you later, but right now I'm trying to get you to use your brain. - SH
Why would Sherlock have had to risk his life for him? Dr Watson, who was just the companion, and never the hero. Why would the great Sherlock Holmes do that? Unless, it was to do with…
Moriarty. - JW
Congratulations. You win the award for best delivery of most obvious fact on the planet. - SH
John rolled his eyes.
Well, sorry if I'm a bit dazed after finding that my best friend is still alive! - JW
Oh please, I wouldn't have let myself die. Far too pedestrian. - SH
So… Moriarty had a master plan that meant you had to 'die'? What was it? - JW
Moriarty planned to kill all the people that I care - that are useful to me in my life. Naturally I had to protect my best interests. If I died, you, Lestrade and Mrs Hudson would live - SH
John's jaw dropped. Sherlock had died for him? For him? John had been expecting a large political plot to kill Sherlock, or something involved with the secret service. Instead, Sherlock had bargained his life with a human impersonation of the devil to keep his friend alive. John was speechless.
Is that true? - JW
Honestly John, would I lie to you? - SH
Wow. I guess a thank you is in order. - JW
I should hope so. - SH
John scrolled up through the messages, when he remembered something Sherlock had subtly texted before.
What do you mean - stimulates tears? You were crying? - JW
Very quick today, aren't we John? - SH
Like I said, major life event, does interrupt cognitive processes - JW
There was a gap of a few minutes before Sherlock responded again.
Don't allow it to. I shouldn't be a 'major life event' - SH
I know you don't let emotions rule your head, but sometimes its difficult to let go... - JW
John, I jumped off a building. I think I understand. - SH
John mentally hit himself. Sherlock must have been through hell to avoid Moriarty's henchmen. Sherlock had to let go of his easy life and go on the run. Of course he understood.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just difficult to - adjust. JW
You're apologising. That's... Unexpected. - SH
Well, you did 'die' for me I suppose. But why couldn't you tell me? - JW
I needed to track down his 'hench men'. It took longer than expected. - SH
Are they all tracked down now? - JW
John wasn't sure where this conversation was going. He was hoping that he would be able to see Sherlock again. Oh god. How difficult would that be?
Yes. I have yet to dispose of one, but I'm saving it up. I believe Lestrade phrased it as 'Showing him who points a gun at John Watson'. - SH
Lestrade? Lestrade knew Sherlock was alive?
Lestrade knows about you? - JW
Yes and No. He knows I'm alive but not of my location. It's safer that way. - SH
John's heart fell a little, but typed his burning question anyway.
Does that mean you can come home - back to Baker Street? - JW
No. You're coming with me, though. - SH
John's heart began to hammer in his chest. Sherlock wanted to see him? He wanted him to go on the run with him?
When? - JW
Now. Guess where? - SH
Speedy's? - JW
Guess again. - SH
John was tired of the mind games. He just wanted to see his best friend after three lonely years.
Sherlock, I want to see you. Just tell me please - JW
The flat across the street. - SH
John glanced out the window to the flat opposite. Sherlock was within seeing distance? The light was off across the street, making it difficult to make out anything in the dark.
Is that where you have been? - JW
For about a week, yes. Want to come over? - SH
John's breath got caught in his throat. It suddenly dawned on him that he was going to see Sherlock - alive and breathing. He wanted nothing more than to go over and see him now, but he glanced at his crutch, which sat propped against the armchair.
Wow... I will... but it's difficult. My limp has come back, Sherlock - JW
I know. Don't worry, it'll be sorted soon. - SH
Will you fix that? - JW
Of course. Least I could do. - SH
John swallowed deeply. He was about to type the most emotional thing he had ever said to Sherlock. He never had been good with emotions.
I - I missed you - JW
And I you. - SH
I knew you couldn't be dead. I guess that's why I never let go of you - JW
John Watson - Expert in the field of Sherlock Holmes. Better not let the press know, people will talk. - SH
People always talk - JW
You know what, stay put. I'm coming over now - SH
John's heart accelerated. He looked out the window to see a figure make their way out of the flat opposite.
Okay. Thank you. - JW
It used to bother you. People talking. - SH
I don't care anymore - JW
Oh? What's changed. - SH
The absence of someone I care about - tends to give you some perspective. - JW
Interesting choice of words. - SH
How so? - JW
'Perspective.' - SH
Hurry up. - JW
Sherlock Holmes, I haven't seen you in three years and you choose to take your time NOW? - JW
Forgot how bossy you could be - not that I mind - SH
I'm by the front door now - SH
It's open. - JW
"Afternoon, John. I believe the greetings have already been dealt with, although I must admit I am expecting some form of attack." There he was. Sherlock Holmes. He hadn't changed, not one bit. The same curly hair, the same steely blue eyes, the same cheek bones. God John had missed those cheek bones. He stood up slowly from his chair, before running and taking a running leap at Sherlock. The sudden weight of John caused Sherlock to stumble a little, but he caught him to stop John from falling.
"Wait, what - John?"
John remained silent as his arms envelope Sherlock. John doesn't care if this seems needy or desperate. He feels needy and desperate.
"Erm... Hello." Sherlock looks down at John and tentatively winds his own arms around his companion. Sherlock has never been one for prolonged contact, but for some reason he doesn't mind right now. In fact, he welcomes the human contact. Especially since its John. He feels John cling even tighter.
"Don't - ever - leave - again - please." John whispered into Sherlock's coat collar.
Sherlock chuckled and awkwardly stroked John's hair. Something he'd never done with anyone.
"Don't stammer John, it makes people think less of you. And I wasn't planning anything." John half laughs, but remained talking into Sherlock's shoulder
"You're always planning something." Sherlock smiled a little.
"Yes, admittedly. Nothing to do with disappearing, should I say?"
"Yeah, that would be best." Sherlock smiled more fully and shuffled on the spot.
"Are you planning on letting go any time soon? Not that I mind, I'd just like to think of some way to make our current position more manageable." John blushed at this, realising his soldier facade had faltered
"Erm - yeah - sorry." John moved away from Sherlock's personal space and let him into the flat. Sherlock smirked and shrugged.
"It was less dramatic then what Molly was suggesting." He mused. John looked up, confused.
"What was she suggesting?" Sherlock examined a floor board as if it were suddenly incredibly interesting. The great Sherlock Holmes - flustered. John thought he'd never see the day.
"Oh, lots of things. Not really... er... Important, I... erm... Yes..." John looked defiantly into Sherlock's face. He had a feeling he knew where this was going.
"What did Molly imply? Or suggest?" Sherlock cleared his throat, suddenly nervous.
"She implied that, erm... She said... Is it really necessary for you to know?"
"Sherlock - what did she say?" Sherlock sighed and looked defeated. He sighed deeply.
"She suggested that you would kiss me. Happy?" John was stunned. Molly had suggested that? That was why Sherlock was nervous?
"Wow. I wasn't expecting that."
"Of course you weren't. You're... You." John didn't understand.
"Yes well done, I'm me. What do you mean by that?" Sherlock looked increasingly uncomfortable. John almost felt bad for him.
"Can we just drop it?" There was a moment of silence, before John broke it.
"Did you want me too?"
Sherlock spluttered, eye's widening. "Drop it?" He squeaked again.
"No, I meant - kiss you." John knew it was dangerous territory, but he continued anyway. Sherlock swallowed nervously.
"I... Erm... I considered it a possibility." John sighed, a little relieved, yet his eyes were like fire.
"A possibility? Or a probability?" John stated with a twinkle in his eyes. He could tell Sherlock was embarrassed, as he began to become flustered and flushed with colour.
"I don't know! What do you want me to say?" Sherlock asked, a little too anxiously.
"I want you to say exactly what you want. I'm tired of the uncertainty, I just want to know."
Sherlock kept his eyes fixed on the ground. "I don't have any data to go on John. I don't know what I want." Seeing Sherlock look so dejected tugged at John's heart.
So, he moved his arms to wrap around Sherlock's neck. The height difference made this a little difficult, but John didn't care.
"What if I gave you some?" Sherlock looked startled at John's words and actions. He gave a small, scared laugh.
"It would... be... helpful". John smiled happily at him.
"Then I'm happy to oblige"
Sherlock stared at him, eyes wide. He gave a brief smile and moved his hand up to John's shoulder. John leaned closer, pulling Sherlock lower gently so their foreheads meet. Sherlock's breath hitches in surprise, but does not move away. He looks into John's eyes and observes.
"Your eyes are nice. Hazel? Sometimes they look blue, it's very confusing. I've never met someone with the ability to change eye colour, but I suppose it could technically be possible." He catches himself, realising that he's babbling. John laughed.
"Sherlock, relax. I'm not going to bite! Unless you want me too". Sherlock's eyes widened , as John realised his error. "Sorry, sorry, inappropriate" Sherlock shakes his head.
"No it's - fine." Sherlock gave a small smile.
"You know my eye colour?" John stated, trying to change the subject. Sherlock made a noise suspiciously similar to a squeak.
"Yes... I... Yes."
"Yours are nice too. When you're angry they turn to ice, but when you're happy, they're like the sea on a sunny day." John shook his head, suddenly flustered. "I am so cheesy. I apologise. I'm not even like this with anyone. Well except you now."
Sherlock grinned down at John. How he'd missed his blogger.
"What are they like now?" He murmured.
"Shining... like the stars" There was a beat, before John continued. "Sherlock... I have missed you so much." Sherlock sighed at John's words.
"Oh, John. The stars don't hold enough splendour to describe you." He closed his eyes and breathed in. "I missed you. Every hour of every day."
John scoffed, but blushed and smiled shyly.
"The pain of your death nearly killed me you know. It broke my heart". Suddenly tears come to John's eyes. Damn it, he told himself he wouldn't cry. Sherlock shook his head and stroked John's cheek.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He laughed half-heartedly. "There, see. You've got me apologising and repeating myself." John laughed through his tears at Sherlock's words.
"The great Sherlock Holmes, apologising. Never thought I'd see the day."
A force of emotion suddenly overcomes Sherlock, as he forced his own tears back. "I won't leave again, John. I can't leave you again." John, realising Sherlock was close to tears, smoothed one hand over Sherlock's back in comfort.
"Can you promise that? That Moriarty will never take you away again?" Sherlock pulled John closer, shaking his head furiously.
"He'd have to kill me first." He looked into John's eyes. "But I'd die a thousand times over before I watched you come to any harm." John was speechless. How can any speech compare to that?
"I - I love you."
Sherlock smiled and closed his eyes again, refusing to cry. "I love you too, John Watson. If this feeling I feel when I'm with you is love, then I full heartedly accept it." John sighed in happiness, and used this chance to lean in closer.
"Well, glad that's out in the open". Sherlock smiled down at John.
"Now... What was that about gathering data?" John catches the playful tone in Sherlock's voice.
"Well, I wouldn't want to disappoint the data banks..." John says with a grin. Sherlock raises an eyebrow.
"Good, because I require very reliable data. Repetition is mandatory."
"Practice makes perfect. The data I create is very reliable, and full of validity". They smirked at each other, before leaning in and feeling the happiest they had felt in years.