A/N- Written for everybody, ScopesMonkey specifically, who wanted John to get the last little bit of satisfaction. Conclusion to the story arc created in They're Only Echoes, In the Half Light, and Shadows They Fear the Sun and probably won't make sense if you haven't read those. This is a true piece of fluff.
Warning – Another word that I don't consider a cuss word, but that some people will.
Best. Served. Cold.
Sherlock was sitting at the kitchen table when I walked into the room. He didn't lift his head from the microscope, but his eyes did look up and watch me. I was dressed for the first time in four days, having had the worst cold in recorded history. I'd quarantined myself in the spare bedroom and insisted on a regular schedule of water, medicine, and soup. Sherlock had oscillated from being annoyed about my illness to being terrified I was going to die from a head cold. He was now optimistic that I would survive but was still fanatical about my care. It was John-is-unwell standard procedure.
"Where are you going?" He asked, just watching me with his eyes. I grabbed the orange juice out of the refrigerator and poured a small glass.
"I have to go out for a little while, just a little walk. I'm going stir crazy in there. Want to join me?" I knew that he wouldn't come along because of his experiment. Thankfully, being stuck in the house with me, he had decided to do something time sensitive. I just had to hope that he wouldn't try to stop me.
"I am unable to do so." He looked me up and down. "Are you certain that is a good idea? You still do not look well."
"Thanks." I said sarcastically. He rolled his eyes at me and finally sat up in his chair, crossing his arms.
"Yes, Dr. Watson, clearly I meant that you are no longer attractive." He sighed. "You are not well. I don't believe that venturing out into the cold, while ill, will benefit you in anyway."
"I am feeling better, and haven't had a fever in almost 24 hours. I'll wear a coat." It was rather ironic that I was justifying decisions about my health to Sherlock, a man who generally treated his body like a doormat.
I watched him for a moment, he just stared at me.
"I am going out." I said with confidence. I don't have to justify myself to him.
He just nods and turns back to his microscope. "Take your phone so that when you collapse you can call me. Mycroft is in Morocco, we can't trust that the surveillance is being maintained at the usual levels."
It was my turn to roll my eyes. I moved to walk past him. He reached an arm out and I ran into it. He sat up quickly placing his face just millimeters from mine. I recognized the eyes searching me, looking for a reason I hoped he wouldn't find. He appeared not to.
"I love you." He said.
"I love you more." I replied, smiling at him.
He sighed, pretending to be exasperated. "Not possible." He replied stretching his neck up to kiss me. I returned it gratefully, having avoided all contact during the sick time.
I pulled away from him after a moment. "I won't be long. Don't worry."
He snorted out a laugh. "Also, not possible, but I will see you shortly."
I waited until I turned off Baker St. to get a cab. I doubted Sherlock would watch me from the window, but years of living with him had taught be to be somewhat paranoid. I gave the driver the address in Canary Wharf and sat back in the seat.
I didn't know why I needed to do this, but I did. I already knew the outcome, it shouldn't have been necessary to see it play out, but I needed to. And I didn't want Sherlock to know that I did.
I'd planned for lots of city traffic, but it was a relatively quick trip. There was a small chippy across the street from my destination. I grabbed some chips and a coke and settled on a bench. I ate and waited.
The black cars contrasted to the usual London traffic, parking in front of the building despite it being a no parking zone. They would not be citied though, that much was obvious. The men and women who exited the vehicles looked oddly uniform, moving in unison like military troops. It was humorous to watch.
I stood and tossed the rest of my chips and coke bottle into a bin. I made my way over, close enough so that I wouldn't miss anything, but not close enough to get in the way.
I heard my name about 20 minutes later, just as the first group was returning to the cars. I turned and met Clara's welcoming smile. "Only a few more minutes now," she said. I nodded at her.
"I will always wonder what Mr. Wilkes did to earn your wrath John, but it makes me glad I'm not your enemy." She said, settling to stand next to me.
"He's just a jackass." I said, spotting him through the glass of the building. "I am glad to rid society of him, even for a little while."
She laughed at that, adjusting her position to watch him exit the building. "While many of his practices in the UK where stupid and questionable. His practices in America were more calculated and frankly, alarmingly illegal. He's agreed not to challenge his extradition and will probably take a plea bargain, in hopes of avoiding charges in China. Naturally, American prison is more appealing than a Chinese one."
"Good." I said and pushed swell of anger down.
They'd put handcuffs on him. That made me smile.
He looked terrified. I loved it. I should have been ashamed, but I felt victorious and relieved. I hated him. Clara put her arm on my shoulder just as Sebastian noticed me.
He was waiting while they opened a car door. He was looking around; probably realizing it would be a long while before he looked upon London again. His eyes landed on me and stopped. I watched him struggle for a moment, trying to place me.
He almost smiled, remembering me fondly, before realizing the truth. His brow furrowed and he frowned. I held my left hand up, freshly cleaned wedding ring shining in the sun. I gave a little wave and a smug smile. I didn't know I could feel so satisfied. Then, while he was still looking, I turned the other way.
I grabbed Clara by the shoulders and placed a kiss on her cheek. "Thank you." I smiled at her. "I owe you an expensive dinner."
"I'll take you up on that, but I'm the one who's buying. You deserve a reward for your tip."
"Deal" I said, turning to see that Sebastian was already in the car. And as I watched, the cars pulled into traffic.
"I'll call you soon." She said. "I've got a desk full of paperwork to go through now."
I turned back to look at her. "Thank you." I said, hoping that she understood how sincere I was. She walked away and I watched her for a moment. Then I turned to the road just as my cellphone vibrated in my pocket.
I pulled it out and wasn't surprised to see a text message from Sherlock.
"Where are you? I am going to rest and so are you. I am removing your quarantine. Join me. – SH"
I smiled down at the order. "On my way back now." I replied, grabbing a cab.
A minute later he replied. "Good! Did they put handcuffs on Sebastian? – SH"