Those were the first words out of John's mouth when he saw Sherlock, face to face. He was leaning heavily on his cane, face in cold, hard, military lines. His eyes, though, weren't glaring. They were tired, so tired. No accusations, no threats, no more words at all as he waited for Sherlock to speak.
“I'm so-” John did glare then, when Sherlock started to apologize. The taller man fell silent, wide eyed at the intensity of it.
“You don't get to say 'sorry' for three years, you bastard. Not yet. Not now. Not when I've seen you, for three years I've seen you, glimpses of you, everywhere. And every time, I thought they were just a figment of my imagination. But they weren't, were they? I was seeing you, Sherlock. You've been keeping an eye on me, in which case you should know how much pain I'm in right now so don't. Don't try to apologize, because I've already forgiven you.”
“You- what?” the confusion in Sherlock's voice was clear.
John grinned, letting the hard lines on his face soften into that familiar sight, one that had barely been seen for three years.
“I forgave you.”
“I don't... I don't understand.”
John's responding laughter was sad, and if you looked close, you could see the tears in his eyes.
“You did it. The miracle for me. Took you three bloody years. But you aren't dead.”
There was silence as he took a step forward, reaching out for his best friend's hand.
“Thank you, Sherlock. For coming back to me.”
His hand moved through the air where he could see Sherlock standing there, and John felt something inside him start to break.
“No. No, Sherlock, don't. Not again. Not now. SHERLOCK!”
His last cry was a scream of anguish, as he fell to his knees. Sobs tore from his throat, his chest heaved. It had been so real, Sherlock's face, Sherlock's voice. It had all seemed so real, not minutes ago.
Softly, oh so softly, a pair of thin fingered hands rested on his shoulders. Long arms enveloped his still weeping form, and a pair of soft lips pressed against the side of his head.
“I'm sorry, John.” came a whispered reply. “I'm sorry I did this, drove you mad. I didn't know how much you needed me, John. Only how much I needed you.”