Oh god, I'm sorry. I had to write one for this as well. Something about your work makes me need to bring it to life in words!
"John? John, where are you?"
His initial scan of the living room showed no sign of the good doctor. Sherlock reasoned that he could have gone to bed. Their first case together had been a thrilling yet tiring affair. It was only the typical post-crime solving euphoria that was keeping Sherlock on his feet.
Before he could turn on his heel to check if John was in his room, his ears picked up the sound of a muffled sniffle.
He turned back around and followed the noise to where it had come. Behind his own favorite armchair.
Sherlock peered around to find his flatmate sat hidden behind it, curled up on the floor and hugging his knees to his chest. His head was buried in his arms, covering the sight of tears from Sherlock's view, though the detective could still make out John's slightly choked breaths through his quiet sobs. The detective dropped to his knees and carefully touched his friend's shoulder. Muscles winced beneath his hand but he was relieved when John didn't shrug him off.
"John, what is it? Are you all right? John!" he couldn't help the typical panic that usually rose in his voice whenever he'd ask John that question. He only ever asked it when he knew, full well, John was far from 'all right'.
The doctor sniffed; "I'm fine, Sherlock. Just....it's all fine, okay."
Fine. It's all fine.
It wasn't the first time he'd spoken those words to Sherlock today. For that very afternoon, Sherlock had finally decided to show himself to his best friend for the first time in three years. Show him that he was alive and well. John had initially reacted just as Sherlock had expected and, he secretly admitted to himself, had hoped. A fist had collided with his jaw, nearly knocking it out of place as Sherlock fell back onto the hardwood floor. It had felt amazing. All that could top it would be the next moment when the two men had burst into boyish giggles at the ridiculousness of the situation. John's hand had pulled him to his feet and the doctor's eyes were alight with joy that mirrored the buzzing sensation in Sherlock's chest. They'd sat down, John made tea, Sherlock explained how it was done and what he'd been doing with himself all these years.
And John had listened. He'd smiled. He'd called him fantastic. A bastard, yes, but still fantastic.
Sherlock had apologised for all the hurt he'd caused him. Even a self-confessed sociopath like himself knew such pain and anger couldn't be dispelled so easily. He'd expected John to be angrier for longer than one punch. At the very least, distant or bitter. But John had said he was fine.
It's fine. It's all fine.
He hadn't pressed his flatmate on it any further. There was far more exciting things to be done, anyhow! He had his trusty soldier back at his side which meant he could finally take on the final link in the late Moriarty's web. Sebastian Moran. The sniper who, twice, had been ordered to set his laser-sight on John. His John. Sherlock had been relishing the thought of taking him out above all the rests. It was almost too easy in the end. Mycroft had let slip to Sherlock where Moran would be setting himself up once he'd heard of Sherlock's return and all Sherlock and John needed to do was corner him there and take him by surprise. Which they hand, John grabbing Moran in a fierce sleeper hold and managing to restrain him until Lestrade had decided to show up at last - having been sent by Mycroft without any further details. This meant Sherlock got to enjoy the hilarity of Lestrade's face when he set eyes on the supposed 'deceased' detective.
Once Moran was cuffed and being dragged off the scene, John had made excuses that he should get back to Baker Street before Sherlock to 'prepare' good old Mrs. Hudson, not wanting the poor dear to get a heart attack when her favorite zombie walked through the door. Those had been John's words to a point. Sherlock had remained behind for a while to talk things through with Lestrade. Firstly the case, of course, only second to discuss other, more personal matters. To which they were both somewhat thankful for John's absence. When Sherlock felt the air had been cleared, Lestrade had bid him goodnight, though not before cuffing Sherlock around the ear like a misbehaved child.
Sherlock had returned to 221b, feeling more cheerful than ever in his life. He was home. He'd taken down the greatest criminal empire in Europe. He was no longer a wanted or disgraced man. He been forgiven by his blogger. He'd made peace with his DI. It was all so much that he was grateful for the fact that Mrs. Hudson was asleep by the time he'd arrived back at the flat. Being smothered by motherly hands and sloppy kisses may have been a bit too much sentiment for him to handle for one day.
He was ready to collapse into his own bed and sleep, content and happy, for the first time in three years.
Until he'd found John Watson sat, hiding away, behind the arm chair. Silently crying to himself.
"It's not all fine, is it." He should have known life was never so easy.
John shook his head between his elbows; "No. You....you were dead, Sherlock. Dead. I didn't think I would see you again."
"But you did. You have seen me." said Sherlock, as soft as he could manage. He squeezed the doctor's shoulder; "You know I'm alive so I don't understand why-"
An ironic, tragic laugh echoed from the smaller man.
"I know you don't. And I don't expect anything less from you, it's just," John's body tensed up; "It wasn't just that you were dead. You had killed yourself, Sherlock. I never believed for one moment that you were a fake but I know what I saw. I believed what I saw - you - throwing yourself off that roof. And I had no idea why. One moment we're on the run together, I leave you alone for less than an hour, I come back and you're about to commit suicide? I thought...I thought it was something I did. That it was my fault."
Sherlock's grip tightened; "But you know now that that isn't true."
"It doesn't change what I went through all those years. I lost count of the times I'd pass someone in the street who looked like you and would call your name when it was someone else. Or I'd dream about you and I'd tell you how sorry I was. Sorry that I left, sorry for what I said, sorry that I failed you!" John actually laughed at the stupidity of the last sentence. Sherlock didn't blame him. "I'd think I was finally getting the chance to say those words to you. And then everything would be all right. And every time I'd wake up to an empty room. The empty flat....what do you think about that for a title when I write this all up?"
The question had been added on as an attempted mood-swinger. Sherlock smiled fondly. John still hadn't turned to face him in all this time, his head cocked away, resting in his own arms making Sherlock stare at the back of his head. He wasn't letting Sherlock see him cry. John hated letting anyone see him cry. Part of Sherlock wanted to untangle the man and wipe the tears away himself but he indulged John wanting to keep hold of his dignity.
Instead he shuffled up behind the doctor and wrapped his arms around his middle, spooning him close, his head resting on the base of John's neck. His friend fitted perfectly into his embrace as if he'd been sculpted for Sherlock's arms alone.
"You're a fool, Dr. Watson." he whispered into the nape brushing close to his lips; "To think you could possibly have been at fault for any of this. If you want to take the blame for anything then blame yourself for becoming so annoyingly indispensable to me. I would have died for real had I not had you at my side, always believing in me, always loyal. I've never done anything to deserve such a...to deserve a John Watson. No one in this world is worth you shedding tears of guilt over, least of all me. So do stop being an idiot."
He felt John chuckle lightly in his arms. One of his hands moved to find Sherlock's placed securely around his abdomen. John's fingers linked with his as if holding on for dear life.
"Friendly warning. If you die again, I'll kill you." John quietly chided.
"I'll hold you to that."
Sherlock grinned, feeling the warmth of happiness and contentment return to fill him up, along with the warmth of his beloved friend in his arms. Neither of them had any plans to move from that position on the floor sooner than necessary. They both knew they'd have to go to bed at some point. Whether they'd be able to tear themselves apart from each other was a different story entirely.
At least now, everything truly was (or at one step closer to being) fine. Just fine.
I drew this with such angst and sadness that I felt from Reichenbach Fall. And now by This fic, it's a little more hopeful rather than only blue. It's like that I did this with tear starting, then you ended it with final tear. Thank you for this GORGEOUS fic!! <33
Awww, I'm so glad you liked it. I was just browsing through your work late at night, found this and next thing I know I'm writing fic. The scene is just too cute for words. I really do adore how you draw them. <3