It's late when Sherlock comes home. He steps inside 221 Baker Street for the first time in three years, a genuine smile on his face as he glides up the stairs to flat B. His smile falls away as he realises something is wrong, something is very wrong because he can smell blood, lots of blood. The scent clings to the air in a thick cloud, masking the smell of home and dust and John. Sherlock's fingers are shaking as he turns the handle, ever so slowly, and pushes the thick wooden door open. It creaks on it's hinges.
The first thing he sees is John. He stands in the middle of the room, smiling at him. Sherlock almost smiles back, until the red mess strewn across the flat registers in his brilliant lightning brain. Huge, mutilated chunks of meat that Sherlock hesitates to identify rest on the floor, and a brilliant scarlet colour decorates the walls. Bits of gore are splattered everywhere, on the chairs and the floor and the bookshelves and on the tea set sitting innocently on the red-stained table. The tea is still warm.
Sherlock's breath catches in his throat as his eyes flicker over the scene and then back to John, pleading. It's a dream, it has to be. Or it's a hallucination, or anything, anything but the truth. John just smiles wider, and Sherlock notices how the drying blood on his face cracks and flakes with the movement. I did this for you, he says. I brought you home. Everything's fine now. They can't hurt you anymore.
Sherlock's eyes widen as he examines the mutilated corpses more thoroughly, despair striking him like a knife as he recognizes the silver-streaked hair of the largest, the shredded lab coat of the smallest. The face of Mrs. Hudson has been mostly preserved, frozen in horror. Sherlock just stares, a similar expression seizing his features. Why? he asks.
Because I love you, John responds, as if it's obvious. Because I wanted you back. Aren't you pleased, Sherlock? Look what I did for you. For us. Isn't it lovely?
Sherlock's legs can't hold him any more, and he falls to his knees, the short fall softened by a carpet of abused bloody muscle on the floor. Yes, John. He responds, because what else can he say? The madman had taken nearly everything from him. Everything except himself. He couldn't lose his blogger, too. It's brilliant, John. Thank you, John. I love it, John.
The mad grin on the doctors lips breaks his heart.