AUTHOR'S NOTE: this is sequel to the story "A month after." If I were you I'd read that story first. Thank you.
Sherlock Holmes's returned to 221B Baker Street after his "death" 5 hours and thirty two minutes ago. And to be honest he didn't expect that reaction from Mrs. Hudson and John. Especially from John. The consulting detective thought Mrs. Hudson would faint and Dr. Watson would punch him in the face. Or somewhere else. But instead of that Sherlock saw his friend with hopeless eyes and the gun in his hand, ready to die.
And that's caused pain. Sharp pain inside Sherlock Holmes's heart. The feeling of constant grief has been living in Sherlock all of these 18 month. 18 month Sherlock Holmes was dead to his best friend. And 18 month he has been solving crimes in China, Japan, New Zealand just not to think about John's sufferings. But every evening, just like Mycroft predicted he watched his Doctor via cameras on Baker Street. There was time when the detective was ruining everything around himself, when he saw John's bad days. Or when John had been sitting and doing nothing the same apathy came to Sherlock.
But now Sherlock is back. What's been the reaction of his best and only friend? They've looked at each other for two long, like the whole life without his John, minutes. But then he's pushed Sherlock away and gone to his room and locked the door. No anger, no complains, no questions about how Sherlock has survived. Nothing. Just tiredness on his young face.
Sherlock is sitting in his old armchair with fogged eyes.
Hmm, interesting. I don't know what to do. How to react, what to say, how to solve this problem. I
He rubs his face and stands up. Slowly, barely seeing his way, Sherlock walks downstairs to his landlady.
"Knock-knock." He says, opening the door to Mrs. Hudson's kitchen.
"Oi, Sherlock, darling! Come in, come in." The old lady smiles cheerfully, opening the door.
Sherlock enters the room and collapses on the nearest chair.
"I think someone needs a cup of good tea."
She turns her head jerkily when she hears Sherlock's hoarse voice.
"What is it, honey?"
Sherlock shrugs and runs his hand over his hair. "I don't know
what I must do
I missed him so much, but now
" He meets Mrs. Hudson's eyes. "He doesn't speak with me, doesn't want to see me."
The landlady pours hot liquid in Sherlock's cup and then says. "There is nothing wrong in this. He just needs time."
"Sherlock!!!" She cries with high voice. "He is the human! He has emotions! You can't even imagine how many times he was sitting alone in the darkness, barely eat or drink."
"No, you don't, Mr. Holmes!! You haven't been here, when John was lying in the living-room for seven days: he didn't move, didn't speak. Just
" she sobs quietly. "But he always smiled to me and had a cup of tea with me every evening. Well, every evening after a month had pass after your
Oh, we talked and laughed, but his eyes were always sad. So give him some time, Sherlock."
Mrs. Hudson sits near the detective and gives him his cup. Sherlock takes it silently with shaking hands and sips it.
Suddenly Mrs. Hudson notices something improbable. Tears. Tears on Sherlock's face. Carefully she wraps her hand around detective's shoulder.
"It's all fine, Sherlock."
He shakes his head from one side to another.
"Yes, dear, it's. To care and to love somebody. Maybe you don't love all the people around you, but it's John after all."
She wipes tears from Sherlock's cheeks and smiles to him.
"I am sorry. But I did that to protect you and John and Lestrade. Because if I didn't
"Moriarty's band would kill
He looks at her. "What?"
"I know this. I know that everything what you do is logical and right. But this not always understands John. So you must say this to John, not to me."
"He won't listen me."
"No, he will."
"What's it, darling?"
"I am afraid."
The old landlady chuckles softly, ruffling Sherlock's hair. "Everything's going to be alright, I promise."
Sherlock sighs and stands up. "Thank you for the tea. And for listening."
Mrs. Hudson watches him, smiling. "You are welcome. And I am so glad that you came back, Sherlock."
The detective nods and walks to the stairs, but suddenly stops. "Such things have never happened to me."
"Well, there is first time for everything." He hears when he puts his hand on the door's handle. "Good luck."
When detective finds himself alone on the stairs he realizes that he is very excited. He can literally feel adrenaline pulsing in his blood.
I could always divorce myself from emotions, but now it doesn't work. Does this mean to be human?
Slowly, carefully, with fear on every inch of his body Sherlock walks upstairs. The crafty stair cracks, making detective's heart jumps in his chest. His own breathing seems so loud to him, that he really can't understand why John hasn't heard him jet.
At last the door of his friend appears in front of him. With great efforts Sherlock touches the handle to open it, hoping with all his nature that it won't be locked.
And it's opened.
The detective bites his lips and makes a step inside the room, where the pleasant warmth covers his body. Inside John's room is very comfortable and warm and Sherlock's heart beats so desperately loud.
He closes the door softly and slides his eyes to John's bed. There, muffled into the blanket, sleeps John. He holds the pillow with both of his hands and on his face Sherlock notices peace.
Fighting with uncertainly he approaches the bed by stealth and slips on the very edge of it.
"J..John." his own voice betrays him. "John, please. I am so sorry."
No, it's all wrong. Why am I waking him up?? He is so tired. And I've caused him pain.
Sherlock hates himself in this moment so he jerkily stands up from the bed and decides to run from this dark room.
Sherlock freezes as he hears John's sleepy voice.
Slowly, like in a slow motion he turns back and sees John, sitting on his bed. "Don't leave me again."
Sherlock makes some steps to the bed. The Detective and the Doctor just sit in the darkness, enjoying the company of themselves.
"Shut up, Sherlock. I don't want to hear your apologies. Let's just forget about this."
"But I. I missed you so much. I couldn't come back earlier."
"Now you are here. And this is the only one thing that matters." John says, curling in his blanket. "And I am not angry, I am just tired. Maybe tomorrow I will punch you in your face, because 18 months are just too long, you know."
Sherlock smiles, thinking thankfully that John can't see his tears.
John lies in his bed and yawns. Then he pulls half of his blanket to Sherlock.
"You are shivering with cold and I give you a blanket." John explains, yawning once more. "Obvious, isn't it?"
Sherlock shifts himself close to John and covers themselves with the blanket, feeling that his cheeks are burning. John puts his head on Sherlock's shoulder and the detective feels his warm breathing.
"I love you too, Sherlock."