John settles on a bench and looks out over the water. Spring has taken hold and the new green of the season surrounds him. As he watches, a duck moves out from under a willow with her ducklings following closely behind. He takes in a deep breath and lets it out slowly. He smiles at the new life, having a newfound appreciation for it – and for spring.
His phone announces he has a text message and he takes another deep breath. He knows that it's Sherlock wondering where he is. He should have been home half an hour ago. He couldn't just go home though, he had to walk, had to experience spring.
When it rings he pulls it out of his pocket and answers it.
"Are you all right?" Sherlock asks before John can say hello. There is concern in the tone and John realises that he hasn't heard that in a while, hasn't heard the worry or the fear. Not since the end of the chemo.
"Yeah," John says. "I just wanted to walk through the park. I - I just, - I realised today that it's over. I just did the last radiotherapy treatment, all my PET scans are clear." He paused, watching the baby ducks. "I'm in remission."
There is quiet on the other end of the line and John smiles. He knows Sherlock has all the information, but he wonders if his husband had realised that it was indeed over. Hopefully forever.
"I should have come with you," Sherlock says, no real regret in his voice. He'd wrapped up a case at four that morning and had still been asleep when John left. John had planted a quiet kiss on the dark curls and left for treatment one last time.
The treatment itself had seemed rather anti-climactic – the radiotherapy paled in comparison to the chemo.
"Not necessary, it only took ten minutes. Harry is taking me to lunch, come with us?"
Sherlock groans on the other end of the phone and John smiles again. "Where?" he asks and John can hear him moving around.
"The Stafford, in about an hour." Sherlock groans again but John knows he's consenting.
"Are you coming home first?" Sherlock asks and John can here the hopefulness there; Sherlock wants a quick shower shag. The idea is very tempting – they're still catching up for almost nine months with very little sex. But the ducks draw his attention, and the flowers.
"No, I'm going to walk a little longer. I'll meet you there." A displeased grunt from Sherlock. "I love you."
Another grunt and moving around, Sherlock is heading towards the shower. "I love you, too," he says, begrudgingly. John knows that Sherlock would rather the afternoon be spent with just the two of them. He can understand that, but he wants to see Harry too. He wants to thank her.
He plans on talking to Sherlock about going away for a weekend, just the two of them. Or maybe camping out in the flat and shutting out the world for a few days. No phones, no internet, nothing but the two of them. The idea sounds delightful.
"I'll see you there," John says and Sherlock grumbles something before ringing off. John smiles at his phone before pushing himself to his feet. He's going to walk up by the Palace and have an ice cream before heading to lunch.
"She's waiting in the back room for ya, mate," the host tells John when he says that he's meeting his sister. He points at a set of wood doors on the right of the room and John manoeuvers through the crowd to them, hearing Mycroft's weasel-like laugh just before he enters the room.
He smiles; he shouldn't be surprised.
He pushes the door open and is greeted with two dozen faces that he recognises. They all turn as he walks in and there is an eruption of applause. His cheeks ache as his grin grows. He opens his arms and Harry steps into them.
"Congratulations," she whispers in his ear as he hugs her close. She grips tightly around his neck and she plants a kiss on his cheek.
"Thank you," he says, glancing over her shoulder and seeing the room full of his friends and family – including his husband. Sherlock is standing awkwardly in the back of the room, eyeing everyone critically. John watches him until grey eyes meet his then winks at him and Sherlock's crooks an eyebrow as Harry pulls away. John places a quick kiss against her cheek before backing away and turning his attention to Mrs. Hudson.
He makes his way around the room, accepting good wishes and giving hugs and handshakes. He's glad to see everyone, glad they've done this for him. He keeps his eye on Sherlock the whole time though, watching the displeasure turn into anxiousness. As John accepts a hug from Sarah, Sherlock shifts uncomfortably. He doesn't share John well, especially with old girlfriends. John is careful to move away quickly, turning to shake hands with Mycroft.
When he's greeted everyone else he moves to stand in front of his husband. Sherlock plasters a look of indifference on his face but John can see the flicker of emotion in his eyes.
This is it after all. The treatments are done. The illness is over. He's just John again. Plain John. Sherlock's John. He's even starting to look like John again, he's gained weight, he's eating like normal.
This is the last step and Sherlock is nervous.
John takes a step towards to him, brings his hands up, and cups Sherlock's face. He stands tall, and places his lips against his husband's. Sherlock stiffens at the public display, but quickly relaxes.
John pulls back and stares up at his husband. The façade is gone and the emotions are showing. They make John's chest tighten.
"It's over," Sherlock whispers and John nods. His throat hurts as he presses his body into Sherlock's. Long arms wrap around him and settles his own along Sherlock's neck.
"Thank you," John whispers, "for everything, Sherlock. Thank you."
Sherlock nods, burying his face into John's neck. John feels Sherlock take an unsteady breath against him and squeezes his husband tighter, feeling fingers digging into his back.
"Thank you," Sherlock whispers shakily in return.
A/N – Thanks ScopesMonkey for the amazing piece of advice you gave me concerning this story. Brilliant! And thanks to everyone who read it, enjoyed it, and related to it. Cancer sucks.