Lestrade had been great through this whole ordeal. Calling or texting every other day. John would tell him about the new clinic he was starting up and Lestrade would talk about his children or something else. Anything else. They wouldn't talk about... Him. Anderson was even nicer then usual. Sometimes when he asked John how he was doing, John thought that he might actually care. Just a little bit.
No, it was the women in John's life was were straining him. Sally wouldn't stop trying to convince him that his ex-flatmate was a fraud. John's temper would rise (which it never used to do) and eventually Lestrade and Anderson got her off his back, but the sting would still be there. Even Mrs. Hudson was gently telling John to let Sh... Just to let go. That it would feel better when he did.
"I understand, it doesn't feel good to be betrayed." She said one day.
"I wasn't betrayed." John said immediately afterwords.
Mrs. Hudson gave him a look, but she nodded. "I know after my husband-"
"We weren't married. " John said through clenched teeth.
Mrs. Hudson had an knowing elderly lady chuckle at that. "Well," she said, "you'll learn to let the past stay where it's supposed to be. You know the saying John. 'Today is a gift. That's why they call it present.'"
The present. What a joke. There was nothing good about these days. Nobody ever asked John if he wanted to wake up anymore.
But today was Monday, and John had things to do.
Bingley's Flowers and Gifts was a shop that John had rarely noticed before The Fall. The shop was only a couple blocks down from Baker Street. John picked his usual roses and went over to the cashier.
"She must be a lucky girl," said the check out girl.
John looked up. "Hmm?"
"You." The girl nodded to the roses on the check out table. "Bringing her these flowers every Monday. It's sweet. Nobody does that anymore." She winked, "And here I thought chivalry was dead."
John didn't know what to do. Normally he had been always accused of playing for the other team. Now that he was thought to have a girlfriend, the entire idea struck him as very odd. John hadn't noticed the check out girl before, but she must have been there for a while if she knew he came here every Monday.
John didn't want to correct her, didn't want to have to explain everything.
So he just smiled. "Chivalry is never dead."
The girl smiled shyly and John made his way to the graveyard.
John didn't say much when he was with the glossy stone tablet, he never did. He usually just laid the flowers down and touched the stone with just his finger tips. Gave it a pat or two and then backed away.
"Every time I say something here, I expect you to take my sentences apart." John started. He sighed because was reduced to tears in the times he visited and he didn't want to do that right now.
"But you don't. You never do. And I keep expecting it and I keep waiting for it. I keep waiting for you, you dick. And you're sure taking your bloody time."
The stone didn't answer him. It was a stone and nothing more. John knew that. Honest. His hands clenched in fists and he frowned.
"If you think I've given up, you're dead wrong. More wrong then you've ever been, which I'm sure is plenty. So... Don't think I'm going to stop. Because I'm not."
He felt himself getting worked up, so he stopped. He took a deep breath and checked himself.
"Sorry... Sorry, Sherlock I just... I. Miss. You. Very much."
John nodded and shrugged to himself. "Alright. Alright, that's enough."
And he patted the stone tablet, like he always did, and walked away.
It became a weekly routine for John. Mrs. Hudson had begged him to stop, but he couldn't help it. Going over to the hospital where it had all happened. Searching for clues, or something he had missed. And he must have missed something.
John kept a physics book handy back at the flat and he was constantly coming back for measurements of the roof, trying to figure out trajectory.
The sun was bright that day. He felt good about today. He hadn't talked with Sherlock for some time. It was nice to get a few things off his chest, and John was already feeling better.
John kept passing around the area where his friend had fallen. The blood spot had been cleaned up the best it could have been, but there was still a quite a bit of area that was rust-colored. John winced. No. He had to think straight.
John cupped his hands over his eyes and looked up at the roof. Okay. Once again, let's play out this scenario. The building was about five stories high. A person of a six foot four height standing at the top of the... At the top of the...
John squinted up at the rooftop, trying to focus. A shadow passed behind his line of sight on the roof. A tall shadow. John's heart leaped before he could hold it back. He bolted for the hospital door.
Once in the hospital it took John all of two minutes to find the east side stairs. He could hear someone else on them, near the top. He wasn't hearing footsteps, he could also feel them reverberating from the first floor. John took off, running after them. They were heading down and John was heading up. John would catch with them for sure.
A door was opened and closed. The 5th floor. That was Molly's wing, wasn't it! Yes! It was all making sense! It was all making perfect sense! Perfect!
Molly looked startled as John threw open the lab door. He was breathing hard and wildly looking around the room.
"John!" She said as a breathy sigh. She put her hand to her chest. "You scared me. What... What are you doing?"
John sighed. Molly was alone in a room with whatever it was she was doing. Her work. No one else was here with her, no one was on the roof or in the hallway or... John scratched his head hard and sat suddenly on a chair.
"Nothing." John said, running his hands through his face in defeat. "I'm not doing anything."
Molly looked at him sympathetically. "I'm sorry, John. I miss him too."
"Miss- What? I wasn't... I didn't..."
"Okay." Molly said simply, dropping the subject as soon as she started it.
John looked up. He looked a bit irked, but he mostly looked hurt.
Molly straightened out her lips. "Sorry..." She said, "it's none of my business..."
"I keep... seeing him..." John let his voice fade away because he didn't want to explain himself anymore. Molly took two cautious steps towards him and laid a hand on his back.
"I know..." She said, "I know you do. Someday everything will be good again. You just have to believe it will..."
Molly offered some more encouraging yet superfluous words of comfort. But John was only barely listening. He was thinking of a plan.
It was something the consulting detective had tried time and time again to show him. Something in the way the eyes moved and dilated. There was a difference between tragedy or sadness and suspicion or sneakiness. He just needed to catch it in action.
"... And one day you'll wake up and you'll realize that nothing feels bad anymore." Molly was saying. "And that day will come soon for you. I know it will."
John looked up at her. How exactly did she know? Was he missing something? He always was, that's what Sherlock would tell him. Sherlock would tell him to open his eyes and really look .
John cleared his throat. He was trying to thinking about his next move and do it at the same time.
"Well... I'll get out of your way then." He picked himself up and out of the chair. He looked at Molly with his peripheral vision. She seemed a bit relieved that he was leaving. Interesting.
"You're going to be alright, John. You'll see." She said, brightly. "It will be okay in the end."
"Yes, you're right." John slowed down his speech and pinned Molly down with his eyes. "It's fine. It's all fine."
He said those last words in a certain tone and he hoped that Molly's ears would pick up on the inflection. She squirmed a bit, but she kept her place. John nodded and again and turned to go. In the next second, he turned back, hand in the air.
"But there's just one thing I appreciate about you, Molly." He said, closing his eyes.
"Oh?" Molly squeaked. "What's that?"
"You never tell me to move on. Or to let go." John opened his eyes. Molly wasn't looking as confident anymore. "And I just wanted you to know that it... Means a lot to me. Yeah?"
And John stared hard. He watched Molly's eyes and.... YES! Oh God, yes.
It was subtle, especially for her, but the definitely shifted. She had given everything away right there. Sherlock was alive. Molly knew- Molly probably had helped him. And now John had proof. Well, not concrete proof, but all the proof he needed for... For himself.
John smiled. He beamed actually. He grabbed Molly with both shoulders and brought her closely towards him in an awkward sort of hug.
"What..." Molly barely knew what was going on. But it was all okay now, because John did.
"Thank you, Molly." He said, feeling the tears start to sting his eyes. "Thank you."
He pulled her back to arms length, kissed her check, and headed for the door. Molly stood a bit confused and standing off center.
"For what? Wait... Where are you going?"
John swung the door open. "Oh, you know. Where I've always been going." He called out, sounding happier then he had done in three months. "I'm going to wait !!"
The door swung shut behind him.