"It's gonna be ok. -SH"
Just a note, a little five words long note.
Written in less then thirty seconds, the hand firm but the writing still messy.
The ink was a bit smeared, but the letters were still readable.
It's gonna be ok... As if. John thought, chewing on his nails. If that's so, where the hell are you, Sherlock?
He was still in Baker Steet, 221B. Mrs. Hudson helped him and lowered the rent, while he waited for Sherlock to be back. She didn't know about it, but that was fine. She didn't need to.
Life was quiet, quieter than ever without the genius.
John found that very note the moment he went back home, on his pillow. He wanted to believe it, but at the same time he believed more his eyes.
What he saw. And also what he heard. Crying.
He had heard Sherlock Holmes crying. That was bad, wasn't it?
Suddenly his phone rang, making he jump. He wasn't ready for that, and was surprised enough to be called. He took the phone from his pocket, and furrowed his brows in confusion.
He barely used the damn thing anymore, so it was normal for him not to recognize a text from a call.
The number was unknown, but what surprised him the most was the content of the message.
Let's have dinner.
Now, that was weird. He knew only one person that would write something like that, and that person was already dead. Actually, she died twice as far as he knew.
His phone chimed again, and he looked back at the thing.
I'm not dead. Let's have dinner.
Damn. She couldn't... Then again, Sherlock seemed to know he was lying about her being in America, and he didn't look to be upset about that. But this...
If inconvenient, come anyway.
This wasn't possible. Simply, it couldn't. How did she know?
Northumberland street, you know the place.
Ok. That was it. He stood up, grabbed his cane and jumped on the first available cab.
Few minutes later, he arrived at the restaurant. He had been there only once, the day after he met Sherlock, when they started sharing their flat. The Study in Pink.
He sighed heavily and then walked in.
A waiter greeted him, and leaded him to Angelo.
"Oh, that cane again? Try not to forget it here, this time!" he smiled, and leaded him toward an upper floor he didn't know the restaurant had.
"Don't worry about that, I got injured again and this time for good." he mumbled his answer.
He entered the room. It was small, and there was a little table in the center of the room.
"Special order, Mr. Watson! I'll be back later, when you'll be ready to eat!" Angelo said cheerfully, closing the door after John.
The doctor sighed and sat down, back to the wall and the window, cursing his leg and pulling out his phone. How could she possibly be...?
He thought to himself, but as soon as he did, he felt a light tap on his shoulder.
He jumped on his seat at the touch, restraining a surprised squeak. Then, he turned around to see who was it. He didn't hear the door opening, the only way in was the window he wasn't facing, which was open, but Irene... She used to exit trough windows, not enter, didn't she?
But what he saw... He had no words for it. Just...
"I KNEW IT!" he shouted, standing and knocking the chair to the floor, while rushing to hug Sherlock. "You couldn't be dead!" he continued happily.
"There, there John... People might talk." Sherlock said with a smile hinted in his voice, while he patted the other's back. He heard him laugh, and that repaid him for the wait.
They parted and John's smile was so bright and big that Sherlock felt like melting on the spot. But then the doctor frowned again and pouted almost loudly.
"Six months, Sherlock! All this time and you were alive! Tell me why I shouldn't punch you."
"Because I left you a note, and you knew that everything was going to be fine."
"Yes, but your little show was terrifying. How did you-"
"Molly helped me, she signed the death certificate and did the autopsy. The jump, well... That was a bit more complicated, but I will explain. Eventually."
"That was brill- wait, she knew?"
"And Mycroft, yes. I needed money. But don't kill them, it was for your safety. I'll tell you everything, but now, please, I just want to eat. Are you hungry?" Sherlock changed topic, smiling like he ever did, and in John's mind, how he always will.
"You are the most extraordinary man I've ever met."
"Me? Oh, no... That must be you, Sherl-"
"I'm for sure one of the most intelligent men you've ever met, but I'm not talking of the brain. I'm talking about the man itself." the detective said seriously, comfortably sat in the chair on the other side of the table.
They had eaten more than intended, or at least John did, and Sherlock too seemed quite stuffed. But hey, this was sort of a party after all. A celebration. And the food was free as always. It was legit.
"Well, as much as it flatters me, I feel obliged to decline the compliment and ask. Why would it be so?"
Sherlock sighed and smiled slightly at the other's modesty. As always, what to him was plain simple and painfully obvious, to the other was a mystery.
"John, you did what most men wouldn't accomplish. You waited for me, stood strong, trusted me even in the darkest of times and most of all, you still want to share the flat after all that happened."
"There's nothing extraordinary in what I did. I was a soldier, I... I should be used to losing friends. And you are my best friend, of course I trust you, even if you can be kind of difficult. But most importantly, Mrs. Hudson won't keep the rent low just because I'm nice." John smirked, teasing the other who smiled as well.
God, he had missed talking with that madman.
"Mind tell me where have you been for all this time?" he asked, taking his glass and drinking some of the wine in it.
"Oh, the usual stuff. I did my research, looked after Moriarty's business, sank it just a bit. And you, I know, have been going to the therapist. I hoped you would write something on your blog, that would have been nice."
"Sure, so that you could complain because what I wrote was incorrect, right?" John's tone was one of mocking anger, concordant with the pout on his face.
"Actually, I was curious to know what you would have wrote."
"You already know that, don't you?"
"Of course I do."
John laughed, shaking his head. Then he stood up and put on his coat, sighing satisfied for the dinner.
"Let's go home, Sherlock, I need to see you back in that place." he smiled, grabbing his cane and heading toward the exit.
"Don't tell me you aren't coming or I'll drag you there."
"No, I'm coming, just... I was wondering... Your leg? Why are you limping, it's psychosomatic, now that I'm back and the shock is gone you shouldn't..."
"Huh, Sherlock... It's not psychosomatic anymore. A biker, when you fell, he... Drove on me, hit my leg. Now it's merely a physical problem." the doctor explained, gripping the cane tightly.
The look of guilt on Sherlock's face was a very rare thing to see.
"John, I'm... I'm sorry, my plan didn't involve that..." he started, stuttering.
Oh boy, this was so amusing.
"No, John, let me finish. I really am sorry, I faked my death to prevent you to get hurt, and I'm the one who hurt you in the first place in more ways than one!"
"Sherlock. It'll be fine in a few months. Just two, three more months and I'll be running at your side once again." he smiled kindly.
Well, he deserved some bad feelings. He wasn't even sorry.
Sherlock stood and looked at him from head to toe, making a face. The same face as that time he declared he had no friends, pretty much.
Then he pulled his coat from the chair, scarf already tied around his neck, and stormed toward him, near the door, glaring.
"This time you got me, doctor Watson. Next time I won't feel pity for you."
Wasn't it for his face, John would have said he was amused too. And with a hearty laugh he followed the detective, who of course didn't wait for him to walk down the stairs.
He was already out of the door, and had of course stopped a cab. And was also waiting for him in the car, typing something on his phone. When John sat next to him, he looked over his shoulder just to see the screen black out.
"What were you doing?" he asked, suspicious.
"Just letting the town know we're back." he elusively said, still smirking a bit.
When the cabbie was told the direction he drove off. Once they were on the road, John's gaze spaced out of the window, a faint smile still printed on his finally relaxes face.
That is, of course, until he focused something on Piccadilly Circus' screens.
"Back on the road. -SH & JW"
"Oh God, that's what you meant." he sighed inwardly, incredulous.
"Yep. And I also texted Anderson, Molly and Lestrade. No need to let Donovan know, she's with Anderson anyways."
"How do you- No, I don't want to know it, never mind."
Less than fifteen minutes later the cab arrived to its destination, and the pair got off. John paid as usual, and he didn't find it to be a burden for once. He was just happy that they could go back to their usual routine.
Sherlock knocked, clearly without his keys, and John didn't make it to the door in time to open it; Mrs. Hudson already had, a kind smile on her elder face that soon became a mask of utter shock.
She almost shrieked, and her face was pale even in the dark light of the street-lamps.
Sherlock grabbed her shoulders as if nothing was, kissing her cheek and laughing happily.
"Mrs. Hudson, I missed you so much!" he said, hugging the shocked woman.
When he drew back and left her, taking off his gloves, John's face was already showing sympathy for the other's pain. In fact, as soon as Mrs. Hudson snapped out from her catatonic status, she slapped Sherlock right in the face, as hard as only a woman could.
Sherlock, head spun at the force of the blow, was now looking at John, which shrugged with a small smile and a 'you deserved it' look in his eyes. When the detective turned back, his expression was firm, and so was the lady's.
After five or so seconds of staring, Sherlock opened his mouth to apologize, but was stopped by Mrs. Hudson's sudden hug, while she sobbed a bit on his shoulder, helped by the steps that closed the height difference between them.
It took Sherlock almost half an hour to explain what happened, and almost as long to convince her that everything was okay, he was fine and willing to return to their flat.
Sherlock as always preceded him, but John didn't mind at all. He entered the room to find him already sat on his usual armchair, eyelids shut and hands steepled under his chin. Then he reopened his eyes and fixed them on the other.
"Can you tell me what has been moved?" he asked, causing John to raise an eyebrow.
"Hum, I thought you would have noticed that nothing-"
"Precisely. Anybody would throw all of this rubbish out the window as soon as possible, but not you, John." Sherlock said excited as a child, before jumping out his chair and approaching the other. "You are such an extraordinary man, you knew that I was coming back and did exactly what I wanted. Nothing!"
John laughed a bit at these words, and looked as the detective started pacing through the house, examining the smiley on the wall, the bookshelves, the skull on the mantelpiece, the boxes of cardboard piled on the floor filled with hundreds of closed cases indexes.
He went to the kitchen and laughed out loud, opening the microwave and the fridge.
"John, you are brilliant!" he exclaimed, going to the bathroom and coming out again, heading toward his bedroom.
"Wait, Sherlock-..." he started, but couldn't stop the other.
"John, you are a fool."
The doctor sighed and followed after him, leaning on his cane while looking at the back of his friends.
"I was about to tell you - I took your bedroom." he said firmly, letting intend that he wasn't going to change his mind or place.
"This is MY bedroom!" the detective retorted childishly, turning to look at him.
"Sherlock, I haven't moved anything, I just use the bed. Look, I haven't even used the wardrobe, all my clothes are on that case!" he said pointing at a bag at the feet of the bed.
"Why? Missed me too much? You can use yours now!"
"Sherlock, I can't go upstairs, my leg hurts!"
"Well, sleep on the couch!"
"I want my leg to get better, so stop acting like a five years old and go sleep on the couch!"
"I'm sleeping in my bed, deal with it!"
"Well, then so am I!"
"Fine!" with this the detective turned and went to the wardrobe, pulling out his pajamas and starting to undress.
John sighed and took his own from under the pillow, limping toward the living room to get changed as well, stopping just to take the key from the door's hole and prevent being closed outside.
When he got back to the room, he found the other already curled up in the center of the bed, apparently asleep. John couldn't avoid a smile as he approached and sat on its edge, removing his shoes and shaking his head.
"I can tell you're tired, since you're as hyper as always, but could you at least sleep on one side?" he muttered, used to talking to the other even if he wasn't there.
But he didn't mind this arrangement so much, at all.