Hello, dear Readers.

Welcome to my first story in the Sherlock Universe.

This story is settled around the beginning of series three and I'm messing about with the first episode quite a bit. This is how I wish this episode had gone :-)

Please let me know what you think and hit the review button.


Chapter 1

The damned motorbike just wasn't fast enough. With Mary sitting behind him, he didn't dare driving any faster or she would have fallen off. When he drove down the stairs, nevertheless he found himself secretly hoping she would fall off the bike, so that he could finally drive at maximum speed. The prospect of John in danger almost made him lose the ability to think straight.

Time was ticking away and Sherlock felt like falling through a big black hole that seemed to consume him entirely. What if he was too late? John, I can't lose you. Not now, when everything between us is unresolved.

Finally, they reached St. James's Park.

It was blatantly clear there was only place where John could be hidden. Under that bonfire that was about to be lit any moment now. He found the entrance to the park and stopped the motorbike.
Mary and the motorbike forgotten, Sherlock ran as fast his feet would carry him towards the starting fire. Smoke was beginning to whirl around the stack of wood, single flames igniting everywhere.

"John! John!"

The desperation he felt could clearly be heard in his voice and people turned around to see him dashing was no movement beneath the pile of wood. He didn't care about burns or smoke. The only thing he cared about was John.
Sherlock pulled the pallets away, the still very small flames burning through his leather gloves. He didn't care and didn't feel any pain. The first glimpse he caught of John told him that him that he was still breathing and coughing from the smoke. Thank God. With all the strength he could gather and the smoke thickening around him, he pulled at John's feet and got him out of the fire.

"John! John! Can you hear me? Please, John, open your eyes." His voice changed from shouting into pleading.

Ever so slowly, John finally did open his eyes.

"Hey," he said weakly, but smiling.

"God, John, please don't ever do this to me again," Sherlock said quietly and pulled John into his arms. Nothing had ever felt any better. Without thinking, he pressed a kiss on top of John's head.

Suddenly, Sherlock remembered that Mary was there, too. She stood there, looking down at the two men, her look murderous.

"How long?" she asked, her tone icy.

"How long what?" Sherlock asked her back, his mind still not catching up with the situation.

"Never mind," she said and bent down to John, obviously having decided to just ignore Sherlock.

"John? Please keep your eyes open. How are you feeling?" Mary shoved Sherlock's hands away and tenderly caressed John's face.

Sherlock felt a pang of pain running through his chest when Mary pushed him away from his John.
How dare she? He is my best friend.
He just never knew it could hurt this much to watch anyone else than him touch John.

Mary and John took a cab home where Mary would tend to John's injuries, which had only seemed minor. The injection he had received into his neck had been the major problem. It had stopped John's control over his muscles and the only cure was to wait until the drug was out of his system. John would be in a lot of pain afterwards and have sore muscles all over his body.

Sherlock was left behind alone in the park and slowly, he returned to the "hired" motorbike.

What was wrong with him?

Now that the immediate danger was over, Sherlock had to time to think about his reactions.

The prospect of John in danger had totally blocked his ability to think. An overwhelming fear of losing John had gripped him so tightly since the moment Mary had shown him the text message she had received and it only lost its hold now.

Mary, though. She had implied something after he had pulled John out of the fire and…had kissed him on the forehead. The memory returned with a bang. I kissed John.

No wonder Mary looked as if she could have killed me on the spot.

Mary. Only now he realized that she had been sent the skip code. And that she had recognized it as a skip code immediately. This is not common knowledge for a nurse. It was definitely time to find out more about her.

Slowly, he drove home, not bothering to stop by the Yard or Lestrade. They wouldn't be of much help anyway. This attack on John had seemed far too personal. He would phone Lestrade in the morning.

When he finally entered his living room at Baker Street, it seemed far too empty and silent. There was still dust everywhere from his two-year absence and it still felt like home, but one thing was dearly missing: John.

Sherlock shrugged off his coat and let himself fall on the leather couch. The skull on the fireplace seemed to be sending him mocking looks. Back to being lonely? it seemed to ask him.

Only now Sherlock allowed himself to relax and the sheer relief that John was safe washed over him. Silently, tears welled up in his eyes and slowly trailed down his pale cheeks. John is safe, he told himself again.

Mary is looking after him. Something I should do, his mind supplied. And why am I crying? I never cry. This is stupid. Stupid emotions. It felt as if someone had untied a knot deep inside him and let him suddenly feel things he never had before.
With nobody being able to see him, he let the tears fall freely and cried himself into an exhausted sleep.

John lay in their bed, next to Mary, and his head hurt. He still had difficulties breathing deeply but he knew he wasn't in any real danger any more. Sherlock had saved him in the last possible minute. Again. Just how many times has Sherlock saved my life now?

Mary seemed to be miffed with Sherlock. John just couldn't wrap his head around why she was angry with him. They had seemed to get along just fine when John had been (and still was) much too angry with Sherlock about him turning up so nonchalantly after two whole years of absence.

When they had returned to their flat he had asked her how they had known where to find him. Mary had told him about the text message and had shown it to him.

He was in awe how fast she had figured out the skip code. She had told him about the motorbike and the race to save his life. That Sherlock had pulled him out of the fire. And then she had said nothing more, although he didn't remember clearly what had happened when he had regained consciousness.

Mary had fallen asleep in the meantime. There was no way John would fall asleep soon.
Things with Sherlock were still entirely unresolved. He had gone to Baker Street to talk to him and then it had all gone to hell. How could Sherlock just come back into his life like this? When he was about to marry and had only just gotten a grip on his life again? Bloody bastard.
Still, seeing Sherlock's face as the first thing when regaining consciousness had given him so much relief.

Now, he was able to remember and everything came back with a flash. John had never seen Sherlock looking so worried before when he had opened his eyes.

I guess the sheer relief of seeing him must have made me smile at him.

John also realized that he hadn't asked himself where Mary was at that point. The emotion he had been able to see in Sherlock's eyes had been enough to calm him down and make him feel safe.
And then Sherlock had pulled him into his arms and had kissed him. On the forehead. Something he had never ever done before.

John's hand went up to his head, touching the point on his forehead where Sherlock had kissed him.

Of course, this is why Mary left that bit out. She's jealous.

He almost had to laugh out loud. Jealous of Sherlock. Ha bloody ha. Okay, she didn't know him good enough to realize there was absolutely no reason to be jealous.
Still, Sherlock had never shown such emotion with him. Except that one time in the hotel near Baskerville, when he had admitted that John was only friend. But he certainly had never seen Sherlock kiss anyone, except perhaps Ms Hudson.
John realized he was happy about Sherlock's reaction. It was the most honest thing he had done since his return. His face had been an open book in that very moment.

There must be a reason he has left me for two years, he really does feel something for me. It wasn't all a lie. I will let him explain tomorrow.

With a small smile on his face, John finally fell asleep.

Sherlock woke with a start at seven a.m. the next morning. He felt like a train had hit him during the night. His eyes were sticky and he was still wearing yesterday's clothes, smelling of smoke and gas.

He grabbed his phone and stood up from the couch. There had been a text from John a couple of minutes ago.

Can I come over today? We still need to talk. John.

Sherlock didn't need to think about his answer.

Of course. I'm home all day. How are you? SH

He left the phone on the kitchen table and went straight into the shower, not waiting for John's reply.

John couldn't help but stare at his phone. Sherlock asked him how he was? That certainly had never happened before. "Home", he said out loud when he read Sherlock's message the second time. Home suddenly was Baker Street again, he realized. It was the only place that really ever felt like home for him. He forced himself to leave the thought alone and typed a reply to Sherlock.

Sore all over, but alive - thanks to you and Mary. See you in an hour. I'll bring breakfast. John.

He laid the phone back on the bedside table. Mary had already left their bed and seemed to be preparing breakfast. John had to tell her that he wouldn't join her. Slowly, he lifted his aching body from his bed. He felt like a train had hit him.

He headed for the kitchen, carefully setting one foot in front of the other. Every single muscle hurt. He needed an aspirin. Or two.

"Morning, love," Mary greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. "How are you feeling?"

"Better, but still quite sore. I'm going to take some aspirins; these should do it for the day." He paused.

"Listen, I will have breakfast with Sherlock this morning. I still need to talk to him about… everything. Can I take the croissants with me?"

Mary didn't reply, but nodded.

"I'll see you tonight. Sorry about breakfast." He kissed her and left.

Mary entirely forgotten as soon as he had left their flat, John went straight to the tube station. He was now very eager to talk to Sherlock. All the anger he had felt yesterday morning when he had gone to talk him was gone. Still, Sherlock would have to have a pretty good explanation for not sending him a single word for almost two years.

John stopped at Tesco's for some tea, milk, jam and butter. He suspected there were still things in Sherlock's fridge that shouldn't be mixed with food.

Finally, he reached 221B Baker Street.

Sherlock was pacing in front of the fireplace, quietly talking to the skull on the mantelpiece.

"What if he has changed his mind and doesn't come to talk at all? Perhaps he's still angry with me…" He then heard the front door closing and instantly, Ms Hudson could be heard talking to John.

Sherlock took a deep breath and prepared for the upcoming conversation with John. He had never been nervous before when he was supposed to meet John and talk to him but today he was. He hadn't even been nervous in that bloody restaurant where John had been busy proposing to Mary and he had revealed himself in front of him.

The door opened and John came in with two bags in his hand. He seemed to be all right, though he held himself a little stiff. Must be the yesterdays' drugs.

"Good morning, John," he greeted him, his voice scratchy. He cleared his throat.

"Morning, Sherlock. Oh, you've cleared the table, perfect," he said, setting the bags down.

Sherlock let out the breath he'd been holding. So John seemed no longer angry.

"I'll put the kettle on," he managed to say and disappeared into the kitchen.

Get a grip, he told himself firmly. It's only John. Why am I suddenly so nervous around him?

John followed him into the kitchen.

"I've brought tea and milk, I wasn't sure when you last did the shopping," John said, seeming also bit nervous now.

"Thanks." This is awkward. As if I've never been away. Just like the old days. Sherlock turned around to face John.

"Are you in pain?" Sherlock asked, his face betraying no emotion.

"Not particularly, but I've had two aspirins."

"Let's sit down. There are some things I need to say to you, John."

John nodded and retreated to the table with his plate and a mug of tea in his hands.

Silently, Sherlock followed him and sat down. Sherlock found the silence unnerving but now that he had announced he had some things to say, John only seemed to wait for him to start.

Sherlock took a sip of his tea.

"I'm glad you shaved it off."

John sighed.

"Is that all you were going to talk to me about? My bloody moustache?" He sounded angry and disappointed all in ones.

"No, sorry, I'm just at a loss where to start," Sherlock admitted, looking up from his plate and directly into John's eyes.

"How about explaining why you let me mourn you for almost two years, Sherlock?"

"You've been spending the whole time in mourning? But why? Didn't you get – you know – over me at some point?" Sherlock asked, his tone wondrous.

"For God's sake, Sherlock. Even you must have understood at some point that you were my best friend. And my only true friend. My other half. At least that is what I felt. It's now quite obvious you didn't feel the same way. Of course I've been mourning you." He paused. "I missed you, Sherlock. I missed the life we had together. You can't imagine how much." He added quietly.

Oh yes, I can now, Sherlock answered without saying it aloud.

"I had to be sure that you survived, John. I had to be sure I could come back to you," Sherlock said quietly.

"What are you talking about, Sherlock?" John asked, looking both hurt and confused.

"Moriarty. There were snipers. One for you, one for Ms Hudson, one for Lestrade. If I hadn't jumped, they would have killed you."

John said nothing, slowly progressing the information.

"But Moriarty was dead, what was the point in hiding two years?" He said after a long moment of silence.

"His network. I had to take down his entire network. It took me almost two years. During the last three weeks, I've recovered from my recent…injuries and as soon as I could manage, I revealed myself to you. I'm sorry though about the way I did that. I can now see that my handling this was…inappropriate." He paused.

"I hope in the meantime you were able to propose properly?"

"What? No, I haven't," John answered, looking surprised.

"Sherlock, are you telling me you did all this to save our lives? Mine, Ms Hudson's, Lestrade's?"


"And there was no way of letting me know any earlier that you were still alive? Through Mycroft or Molly?"

"No, John. Mycroft didn't even give me clearance to approach you this early after my return and Molly… no, I haven't been in touch with her in the last two years after she helped with my so-called "death"".

John let out a breath.


"Okay?" Sherlock repeated.

"I need to think about all this. But thank you for telling me."

With that, John picked up his croissant and finally started eating.

Sherlock had lost all his appetite.

He didn't know what to think, what to feel. Here he sat with John, having breakfast. He was no longer angry, but he also hadn't forgiven him.

Could I forgive him that easily if he had done the same to me? Probably not.

"John," he began, unsure how to continue. He wasn't used to having problems with saying what he wanted to say. His mind was overcome with the need to tell John how much John meant to him and how much he had missed him. John had admitted missing him so why couldn't he do the same? It couldn't be that hard.



"What is it, Sherlock?

I can't bloody say it. Damn.



Sherlock's phone rang. He ignored it.

"Aren't you going to answer it?"

"No. I'll call back later."

"Are you going to take new cases soon?"

"Already got one."

"Yes. Want to come?"

"Do you want me to?"

"Would I have asked if not?"

Together, they left 221B and went down into the tube.

"Sherlock, why are we taking the tube? We never…took the tube before," John asked, trying to keep up with Sherlock's pace.

"Because the case is about the tube, John," Sherlock answered and left it at that, no further explanation provided.

The ride was spent in silence. John still tried to process what Sherlock had told him.

He had left the country for almost two years to save the life of his friends.

John was also still wondering what Sherlock had tried to tell him after that and had decided not to in the last moment. What had happened to Sherlock during these two years? It was quite obvious to John that Sherlock had changed.
When he had revealed himself in the restaurant he had seemed as unfeeling and arrogant and above everything as always, but now? He almost seemed unsettled.

Sherlock hadn't told him where they were heading. And John had to ask himself why he had said yes immediately.

He should have gone back home to Mary and properly propose to her. Or preparing for his shift at the hospital that began at noon. Instead, he had right fallen back into the old habit of following Sherlock wherever he went.