Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, but he owns my heart! Please enjoy, it has been a pleasure to write this. Chapters will be posted in pairs, once a week or so. If some of these chapters come across as a tease, it'll be worth it in the end! Please enjoy, and review if you want! Thank you!

Forever Yours


S.J.H, "Revella"

(Takes place during The Empty Hearse, the first two weeks after his return to London, and then the story diverges from there.)

Chapter One


Sherlock stood in the early morning sunlight spilling across the floor of his flat, unmoving and silent. The puzzle Mycroft had resurrected him for took physical form upon the wall he faced; the shot up smiley face barely visible. Dozens of papers, pictures, handwritten notes and snippets of dates, names and times connected in a convoluted shape he struggled to bring into focus. He could not yet fathom the pattern- he knew it was just outside his reach.

The warmth of the rare autumn sun had yet to heat his blood, his mind far away, spinning and chaotic. It was full of dead ends, and tangents of thought irrelevant to his current case. Pushing aside distractions was difficult this morning, resulting in the detective not sleeping the night before, and his place on the spot he was standing was long accustomed to his unmoving weight. He hadn't noticed the arrival of dawn, or the lessening of the chill in the air that permeated his flat. Silence hung heavily in the rooms he used to share with Dr Watson; the other man's absence was annoying and glaringly obvious.

Despite his "death" two years prior, Sherlock felt like no time had elapsed at all since his return to 221 B Baker Street. Papers, case files, and half finished experiments lay exactly where he had left them. A thick layer of dust still clung to random surfaces throughout the flat, missed by Mrs Hudson on her sporadic cleaning missions.

A short week had passed since his rather emotional and anticlimactic return to London, and the life he left behind. As eager to see John as he had been, Sherlock had badly miscalculated the effect his return would have on his former friend and flatmate. Former seemed to be the correct word now to describe John; his refusal to accept Sherlock's return and the inherent betrayal it carried was beyond his current limits. For betrayal it was. Hindsight making his judgment clearer, Sherlock knew that his lack of trust in John's silence after he faked his death was indeed a betrayal to the very loyal doctor. For all that he needed John's grief to be real in order to convince the world that he really was dead, not contacting him sooner had been a grave mistake.

Mycroft had been right to scoff at Sherlock's expectations. John was not willing to leap back into the game. So unwilling was he that John's very hard head had damn near broken his nose. Sherlock reflexively twinged at the memory, so clear was the recollection. One of the few drawbacks to having an excellent memory bulwarked by a mind-palace was that the painful memories were as clear as the good ones. In the last two years, Sherlock had held on tightly to his memories of John Watson. John smiling, laughing; the relaxed slouch of his shoulders under an astoundingly atrocious Christmas jumper as he sat in his chair. One memory held in perfect clarity was of John holding the Czech assassin Golem at gunpoint, threatening his life if he harmed his partner. A face full of calm menace and steely resolve hovered at the edges of Sherlock's mind as the mere mention summoned it from the depths.

Sherlock sighed, the small sound escaping before he could stop it.

"You're becoming positively maudlin, old man! Snap out of it and focus!" he thought to himself sternly. "You were a capable detective for half a decade before John Watson walked into the pathology lab at St Bart's- and you can damn well continue on without him!"

Sherlock had retired his previous career as a consulting detective to become something far more sinister during his forced sabbatical two year earlier. He had become a spy, an infiltrator, smuggler, and occasional hit man as the situation demanded. He created multiple roles while he traversed the breadth and depth of Europe rooting out Moriarty's crime syndicate. Disappearing into the many personas he developed for the hunt, Sherlock had turned his formidable skills to finding every last remnant. Each discovery of an operative had lead to either a swift arrest, or an even quicker death- at the hands of Mycroft's people, or as a result of Sherlock himself stepping in. He had let himself fade away to the barest, leanest version of himself - an elemental force of deadly efficiency and ruthless, cold detachment. For days, up to weeks at a time, he would become what was needed to complete the mission: the grifter, the con man, a drunken smuggler, and even a nameless, brutal, high ranking disciple of Moriarty. Only once a mission was complete, and in the brief span of time traveling from one dreary city to another to start a new mission, did Sherlock emerge as himself again.

Alone, exhausted, and resolutely determined to succeed, Sherlock would find respite in the depths of his mind palace, and the memories within. He had spent he entirety of his life building his mind palace, so much so that it bore no relation anymore to that moniker. Many practitioners in the art of "mind building" limited themselves to a room, a house, a foolishly opulent mansion. Sherlock had endeavored to build London itself. There he would tread the unswept floors of his flat, hear the bustle of London's streets as he walked Trafalagr Square; pace the chilly halls of St Bart's. The Underground in all its complexities, the ancient streets and alleys, from St James' Palace to Westminster, the Thames to the sea; all a part of the underwhelming named palace within his mind. Each street, home, room, office; all of it held a memory, a recollection, fact, scent, sound. Everything Sherlock deemed important and worth keeping was stored safely away- forever.

On the rare occasion a room became full, or a shelf too cluttered, would Sherlock either delete a memory, or far more likely, expand. With a tensely orchestrated shuffle of mental blueprints, a new room or surface would spontaneously appear where needed. All he needed to do was walk the path to that new place but once, and he would never forget his way back. Once Sherlock stored something, it was there to stay.

His city was not empty- it was filled with moments frozen in time, people stilled to an instant of crucial importance, like a single note held at the sound of perfection. Those memories and moments lined the streets, the rooms and places of their relative origins; Molly stood in the lonesome morgue at St Bart's, Lestrade sat still at his desk at Scotland Yard, even Mrs Hudson at her sink, washing dishes.

Here too was the exception to his rigid control- John Watson. Everywhere Sherlock went, the spectre of John followed. John was with him every step- in his chair at the flat, John standing at the door of a cab waiting on him; John by his side as they raced through London's streets.

It would be to these stilled moments Sherlock retreated to the most. Mind spinning, thoughts without anchor or purpose would drive him to the edge of control. Sherlock would find that voice- John's voice. That voice that would calm his racing heart and mind, focus his genius and push him farther than he had ever gotten on his own. Sherlock would settle his restless soul into the mental facsimile of his green leather chair before the hearth, and watch as John would read his papers. His bare feet crossed and tucked close to the chair, his head buried in the Guardian, and humming quietly to himself as he came across something interesting. Many times Sherlock had oiled his bow strings, or tuned his violin, or even just steepled his fingers under his chin and unabashedly contemplated the wonder that was John Watson.

At times John would point out something he found interesting, and Sherlock would lock away the sound of his voice. A gentle sound that even when frustrated or annoyed never lost that quality Sherlock had come to define as kindness. John Watson was a kind man, unapologetically loyal, and brave beyond expectation. Quickly after that first case with the serial killer cabbie he had known the full measure of John's character. John was, to Sherlock, the only truly good man he had ever met. Or would ever met again.

He rested in the sunlight, remembering.