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Sherlock.” John Watson’s hands were fisted on his thighs, his forehead tensed and his back ramrod straight in the passenger seat. “This is the way to Musgrave.”


“I did say yes.”


The greenery and sprawling countryside looked far less menacing without all the flashing lights and milling police. In the daylight one could appreciate the beauty it had to offer. Sherlock had a key for the new lock chained around the tall wrought iron gate; the last one had had to be cut for the police to get through nearly a year and a half ago.  


“What are we doing here, Sherlock?” John asked once they were up the long drive and standing in the overgrown grass.


Sherlock cleared his throat. “The last time I left London I gave you little warning.” The doctor made a choked, scoffing noise in the back of his throat that conveyed his displeasure at that understatement. “This time I wished to depart Baker Street on better terms…” Sherlock squinted at the derelict manor. “My own terms.”


“You’re leaving.”


“Merely relocating, John.” Sherlock’s face flickered through several emotions before clearing. “It’s time, I should think. Though it’ll never be ready by June.”


“June?” John was no stranger to whiplash conversations with the great bloody ponce of a best friend.


“Molly’s due date. June fifteenth.” Sherlock watched the doctor carefully from the corner of his eye, probably preparing for a punch or a hug.


“Right.” John Watson nodded. “Molly’s due date.”


“Are you…” Sherlock began once they’d stood staring in silence for a good while. “…o-kay?”


“Fine—I’m fine. You’re leaving London and Molly Hooper’s pregnant with your baby.” John remained blank faced until the first chuckle broke free from whatever dam was holding back his emotions. Sherlock’s curled lip and highly affronted look only made him laugh harder. John Watson laughed and laughed until he was nearly doubled over and Sherlock was truly fuming.


“Don’t see what’s so funny—”


“It’s not.” John rubbed at his face, feeling the hot tears that were an accumulation of all the years, all the adventures and hurts the detective and his doctor had been through together. “It’s really not. It’s—” Right. Deserved. Needed. Wanted. Wonderful. Bloody insane. “It’s good, Sherlock. Really, really good, mate. I’m happy for you—the both of you.”


John did hug him then, right there in front of the tatters of Sherlock Holmes’ childhood home. He held tight to his friend’s shoulder even once he let go, staring hard at the uncomfortable man. “Mary—” John had to swallow. Hard. Taking deep, steadying breaths through his nose at a pain that had yet to dull. “—would have been so proud.”