*Hello lovelies! This is a follow-up piece to The Failed Date. If you haven't read that one, then this one may not make sense, so I encourage you to read that first! I really hope you all enjoy it and I wanted to give a special thank-you to angel1412. They have been so kind and asked me to write a bit more, so here it is. There will be a part 3 to this, although I'm not sure when it will come out. Obviously, this is set after Reichenbach, but in an AU where John never met Mary, although I did take John's bit from The Empty Hearse when Sherlock first reappears. As always, hope you all enjoy and please feel free to leave reviews. See you in the next piece!*

Love Later

He looked out over the city, taking a deep breath of the cold November air. God how he'd missed London, moving and pulsing around him. Two years. Two long years and he had missed the city every single day. But not as much as he'd missed his doctor.

Sherlock touched the ring on his left hand, the same place it had been since he'd received it from his grave. Seeing John and bringing down Moriarty's network had been the only two things that had kept him alive. Going home to John had been the most important though. He pulled his phone from his pocket, looking at the contact. Should he or shouldn't he?

John. Meet me at St. Bart's rooftop where it all ended. -SH

Sherlock waited patiently for the reply, sitting down with his back against the edge of the wall. He closed his eyes, waiting for the reply. He didn't have to wait long.

Who is this? How did you get my number?

It's me John. It's Sherlock. Meet me at St. Bart's. -SH

This isn't funny. Sherlock has been dead for two years. Whoever this is, lose this number.

John. It's me. If you don't believe me come and have a look for yourself. -SH

This is a sick joke. This is a cruel and sick joke. I am not coming up to that hospital only to be fooled by someone who thinks it's funny to play tricks on me. I told you. Lose this NUMBER!

I got the ring. -SH

…what…

I got the ring that you left at my grave. It's on my finger now. Come and see for yourself. -SH

Sherlock didn't receive any reply back and he smiled to himself. He had no doubt that John was on his way. Sherlock closed his eyes, resting his weary body as he waited for Dr. Watson to arrive. His mind was racing with all of the possibilities of what could happen. The two most logical options were that John was going to break down at the sight of him or he was going to fly into a fit of rage. Both of those were not something that Sherlock wanted to deal with, but if he had to choose one over the other, he would prefer the breakdown over the rage.

He sighed when he heard the door slam open. It was going to be the rage option.

Opening his eyes, he found John staring at him, unmoving except for his hands. He kept clenching and unclenching them. Sherlock got to his feet, taking three steps towards the man before John held up a hand. Sherlock froze in his tracks.

"John, I-"

"Two years," John whispered. Sherlock could tell that he was struggling to find words. "Two years…I thought…I thought...you were dead. Hmmm?" He paused to try and take a deep breath and Sherlock could see the tears in his eyes. "Now, you let me grieve, hmm? How could you do that? How?"

"John...it was not my intention to be away this long. I didn't think-"

"YOU DIDN'T THINK WHAT SHERLOCK?!" John roared, face going a brilliant scarlet color. "You broke my damn heart Sherlock Holmes! You broke it into thousands of tiny pieces and you didn't give a damn about it. You didn't give a damn about anything except for your stupid case!"

"John, let's not do anything in haste here. Well, except maybe shave that bush off of your top lip. Were you really intending to keep that?" Sherlock watched as the murderous look appeared on John's face and he knew that he would have to tread carefully. He was in no position to fight John. "I really didn't expect to be away this long."

"Oh? And how long were you planning on? A few months? Half a year? What was it, a nice holiday for you?"

"It was no holiday. Seriously, could we go and shave that thing off of your upper lip? It's quite distracting and-"

He didn't realize that John had slammed into him until he was on his back, struggling to keep John from landing any blows. He didn't want to hurt the man, but when John's fist connected with his lip, he knew that he had no choice. Sherlock drove his elbow up into the smaller man's ribcage, shoving him away, struggling to his feet. John was also on his feet, teeth bared, eyes filled with murder.

"I grieved for you!" He shouted, taking another swing at Sherlock, who side-stepped. "I wept for you! I stopped eating, stopped sleeping! I had nightmares about you! Everywhere I looked there you were you heartless BASTARD!"

With every sentence he swung at Sherlock, trying to land a blow. Sherlock danced with ease around him, keeping a couple of arm lengths between him and the doctor. John rushed him again and Sherlock saw it as his opportunity to keep John from swinging on him. He stepped to the right, spinning as he did, grabbing John around the waist and pinning his arms to his side. John struggled and Sherlock winced at the pain from his beating in Serbia, but he refused to let go.

"John, listen to me."

"Let go!"

"Listen to me!" Sherlock said sharply and John stopped struggling, if only for a moment. "You have to understand. I am not a creature of emotion, nor do I understand why you are so upset when I am standing right here. But I came back and I came back for you. Could you please calm yourself long enough so that we can talk?"

John was tense in his arms and for a moment Sherlock was unsure of whether John would calm himself or not. But the soldier relaxed in his arms and Sherlock let go of him slowly, taking a step back.

"There. Now, was that so hard?"

He was blindsided by John's right hook and staggered backwards, feeling his nose begin to gush blood. Sherlock looked at John incredulously, reaching into his pocket for a handkerchief to press to his bleeding nose.

"Now we can talk." John sat down with his back to the wall, staring up at the bleeding detective. "You want to talk, let's talk. I'm calm now."

"I didn't leave without reason John."

"But why fake a suicide?"

"It was the only way that I could make Moriarty's network believe that I was dead. After Moriarty shot himself, I had to ensure that his agents knew that I went with him. It...it was to keep you safe."

"Keep me...Sherlock, what was there to keep me safe from? Moriarty was dead!"

Sherlock limped over to where John was sitting, easing himself down next to him. "Yes, the leader was dead, but that didn't mean that the hive was. Moriarty wanted to ensure that I wouldn't be around after he killed himself, which was why he hired assassins to take out you, Lestrade, and Mrs. Hudson. Obviously I couldn't let that happen. It was a ninety-five percent success rate."

"And if you had made it into the five percent?"

"I didn't."

"But if you had," John growled through gritted teeth. "Where would that have left me?"

Sherlock shrugged. "I suppose that would have left you burying an actual corpse and me being six feet under. But it didn't happen. Why don't we go and grab something to eat after I stop by the flat to pick up a change of clothes? I've gotten blood on my shirt it seems."

John slowly shook his head. "I'm not going back there. No way. I'm still not convinced that this isn't just a dream. A wonderfully terrible dream that I'm going to wake up from."

Sherlock sighed, glancing over at John, still holding the cloth to his nose. "This isn't a dream John. I'm real. It's really me, I promise you."

The detective watched in confusion as the doctor's lower lip began to tremble. John pinched the bridge of his nose, taking a few deep breaths. His voice cracked on the first attempt and he cleared his throat before trying to speak again.

"Sherlock...I nearly lost my mind. I thought you were gone forever...that I was going to have to do this on my own. I thought...I thought that I'd lost the one person that I could...that I…"

John began to weep and Sherlock felt that tug at his heart again. He scooted closer to John and to his surprise, John threw himself into Sherlock's arms, burying his face in his chest, arms wrapping around his waist. Sherlock froze before wrapping his arms around John, pressing a kiss to the top of his head. They stayed like that for a long time, John's tears staining the front of Sherlock's shirt, Sherlock pressing kisses to the top of John's head.

When John's sobs had turned to sniffles, Sherlock pulled back a bit, reaching up to taking John's chin in his hand. "John Watson, did you really think that I was dead?"

John nodded slowly, eyes red-rimmed from his tears. "I really did."

Sherlock smiled gently. "You're a fool. But...I love you too John. You were...the only thing to get me through some of the more difficult nights."

The detective was surprised to watch a smile appear on John's lips. "Do you mean that Sherlock?"

"I do." Sherlock reached into his pocket, taking out the box. "I bought this before I contacted you. I thought...that I would return the favor. One more miracle. John Hamish Watson, my doctor, my lover, the greatest man I have ever met...will you marry me?"

John's face went pale and Sherlock felt his heart begin to pound. Had he done something wrong? He'd thought that this was the way the engagement ritual was supposed to be performed.

"Sherlock...are you...you're serious aren't you?"

Sherlock felt his hopes begin to drop. "Yes. I am."

He began to tuck the box back into his pocket when John grabbed his wrist. The doctor took it from Sherlock, opening it to look at the ring. A small smile tugged at his lips. "It's perfect...Sherlock. I...yes."

Sherlock smiled and was surprised when John leaned in to kiss him. He rested a hand against the man's face, ignoring the tickle of the moustache. He had missed John's kiss, the taste of his lips and tongue, the passion that was barely held in check. Sherlock pulled away, resting his forehead against John's.

"For a moment, I was worried that you were going to say no. That you'd found someone else." Sherlock took the box from John's hand, sliding the ring onto his finger. "I was worried that...you didn't love me anymore."

"Sherlock...nothing on earth could make me stop loving you," John murmured, reaching up to play with the curls at the nape of Sherlock's neck. "Now, why don't we go and tell the world that you're alive once again?"

The detective smiled, struggling to his feet before offering his hand to John's. "We will. But only if you shave that caterpillar growing on your upper lip."

John chuckled, touching the moustache. "I like it."

"Yes, well, I don't. I'm not marrying an old man." Sherlock offered him a smile. "People will think that you're robbing the cradle John."

They both laughed and Sherlock felt happy as John's fingers intertwined with his. Moriarty was finished. Now it was time for love. Finally.