Waiting


(Obvious) Disclaimer: I own nothing


A/N- Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 3 (Sob)


John Watson was the type of man that needed a decent amount of proof and evidence shoved down his throat in order to believe in something. You would tell him one thing and he would not believe you unless you had all the information set out in order and your arguments had to be perfectly logical and legit.

Which is why John Watson has failed to acknowledge the death of Sherlock Holmes.

Because he's not dead.

John Watson has watched the detective descend from the building in dreadful grace and watched as his body collided with the pavement in a deafening crack. He witnessed the blood pool around the body, and was there when the paramedics took his body and wheeled it away.

But he's not dead, no matter how many times anyone says he is.

He saw it all and he saw it everyday as his mind would replay that moment over and over and over again as a type of self torture. That image of the lifeless body. The blood. The silence. It was mocking him.

It was trying to tell him that Sherlock Holmes was dead, dead, dead, dead, but John Watson would have none of that. He refused to believe that Sherlock Holmes was dead. It was unethical. It was unacceptable. It was unbelievable by any account.

It infuriated him when people would pretend they know, know that he's dead – why, it was all over the news! I saw it all! – when they don't. They don't know, and they will never know. They think that he is dead – suicide, they say – but they don't know. They don't know Sherlock like John Watson knows Sherlock.

Sherlock doesn't just die. He's too clever for that. He has to be. Because it just isn't right.

Sherlock, you fool. You idiot. You bastard.

People, they're saying that he was a fake. That Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective was a fake. They even try to convince him to stop referring to Sherlock Holmes as the world's only consulting detective. But what the hell could they possibly know?

Nothing. They don't know anything.

They think that he's dead, those idiots! They know nothing. They weren't with Sherlock Holmes as he solved all those impossible cases. They didn't hear his words as he deduced, deduced, deduced, everything perfectly.

They don't know how empty and alone John Watson feels, and they don't know how broken and hopeless Sherlock Holmes had sounded over the phone – over their last phone call.

They couldn't possibly understand. They could not even fathom how his mind works. Because nobody with a mind like that dies.

I know you're alive, Sherlock. I'm not wishing for a miracle, because I know – I know, I know, I know – that you'll just waltz in with that infuriating smirk of yours like you always do when you think you're being clever. I don't need to wish, because, goddammit, it will happen.

I know you'll come back and I'll wait until you do.

John Watson was prepared.

Just because those morons say over and over and over and over again that Sherlock Holmes is dead, dead, dead doesn't mean that John Watson should believe them.

John Watson will not believe them.

John Watson, contrary to what people had thought, – I've heard that he's moved out of that flat, you know. Heard that he couldn't stay there a minute longer after what happened. Poor lad – had chosen to stay at the small flat at 221B, Baker Street, London, United Kingdom.

He stays there and lives there alone and waits there alone. He stares at the emptiness alone and pictures an aggravating man standing there. Because he knows that Sherlock Holmes will come through that door, eyes twinkling, just like they did with excitement when a new case catches his attention. John Watson has been preparing what he would say to Sherlock Holmes when he walks into the room for a long time. Preparing, preparing, preparing, preparing.

John Watson wanted Sherlock Holmes to know how utterly angry he was with him.

He wanted Sherlock to walk in so that he can grab the taller man by the shoulders and shake him again and again and yell at him. He wanted Sherlock to know how furious he is. How despicable and degrading he is for making him think he was dead. He wanted to yell at the man and tell him that he is he most heartless human being and that that was the coldest thing anyone could possibly do.

You idiot! Faking your own death? That has got to be the most disgusting thing you have ever done! How can you lower yourself to something like that! How selfish can you possibly be? You've made meMrs. Hudson cry, for godsakes! I can't believe you would do something like that. Have you even considered how we – how I would feel – knowing that you – my best friend – had died!

Friends don't abandon friends.

Sometimes John Watson would play out a scene in his head where Sherlock would walk in and he would just punch the man in the face. No words, just action. John Watson would bury his fist in the man's jaw just to show him how enraged he was. Simple, and plenty louder than any speech.

John Watson did not question his sanity when he thought these thoughts. Mrs. Hudson – such a good woman, she was. She would still set three plates at the table in his flat every holiday and John Watson would never question her on her behavior – would sometimes worry when she saw the doctor and say things like, Oh, you poor dear. You've got sadness smothered all over those pretty eyes of yours, again.

Sad? Yes, of course. John Watson was sad. Depressed? Perhaps. It was hard to determine his emotions at this point. Sad, depressed, upset, bitter, melancholy, somber. Or perhaps he was just all of them wrapped in one small package.

Well, that's what he expected to feel after his best friend had jumped to his death right before his eyes, only to fake it, because obviously, Sherlock Holmes faked his death. Obviously. It was the only explanation.

His therapist didn't think so. She thought he was insane – she didn't say it out loud, of course, but John Watson can see it in her disapproving look – and advised him to move on. Move on. Move on. Move on. There's nothing you can do. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Move on with your life. Move on.

Where the hell was he supposed to move on to?

Why couldn't she – and everybody, everyone, all of them, – understand that he won't believe in their lies. Their conspiracies. Their bullshit. John Watson was a man who was not easily influenced by just words alone.

He had a feeling, deep down in his gut that pounded on his ribcage, that Sherlock Holmes was alive and waiting - just like how John Watson waited on that armchair - and would one day come to his door and knock three times lightly and await for John Watson to welcome him back.

And John Watson would be prepared. He would know what to say. Perhaps he would be too overcome by his emotions and just barely say what he wanted to say. John Watson would open the door that showed Sherlock Holmes and he would choke on his words and tell the man how much he missed him. He would tell him how alone he was and how boring his life was and how Lestrade was clueless over all the uprising crimes and how he would always think of Sherlock Holmes during those times.

Dammit, Sherlock. I – I knew you weren't dead. Only a dick like yourself would pull something like that. I – you idiot, you had everyone – they were all a wreck when they heard. I'm so – you don't even know how alone I was. Mrs. Hudson – I can hear her crying – she was certain you were gone. Jesus, you – you're back. I'm so glad. So very happy...

John Watson would get emotional over his own imaginary conversations but he knew that if he practiced it enough times before Sherlock Holmes came back that it would be easier to say. Maybe if he wished hard enough, he wouldn't start bawling like a sissy like Harry would sometimes dub his crying.

John Watson was not a gullible man at all. People nor media could convince him of Sherlock Holmes' permanent death. Load of crap, that's what they were.

John Watson tried his best to ignore the emptiness of his flat. At times, he would text Sherlock Holmes with little updates on what's been going on during his temporary absence. He would notify him of Harry's liver problem and of Lestrade's new recruits.

He never received a text back but he waited for it everyday.

He would catch himself reading the crime section of the newspaper out loud, waiting to hear Sherlock Holmes shout from the other room, boring. It never came but he waited, waited, waited, waited.

John Watson waited for days. Weeks. Months. Days. Weeks. Months. Months. Months. Months.

The world was changing around him but his resolve was as solid as stone.

And suddenly, John Watson waited no more.

Sitting on his armchair on a Summer night, John Watson put down his newspaper at the sound of someone knocking on his door three times.

Knock.

Knock.

Knock.

John Watson knew who it was before he opened the door. His rapidly beating heart that slammed itself on his chest over and over and over and over again, again, again, again told him who it was.

Sherlock Holmes, with his curly, black hair and his pointy nose and his deepening cheek bones stood outside with his eyes twinkling, just like they did all those years ago when he received word over a new case that had caught his attention.

But John Watson was not prepared.

He was not ready.

Words failed him and time had frozen. He was transfixed by this man who was still taller than him and alive, alive, alive, alive.

He found himself mute and immobile at the sight.

No punches were thrown.

No angry words were spat.

No tears were spilled.

He didn't know what he was supposed to do.

John Watson was still for such a long moment before he sighed. A long, deep sigh. He rolled his eyes at Sherlock Holmes, sagged his shoulders, and enveloped the man in an embrace. He needed proof that he was here, alive, and the warmth underneath his arms was all the evidence he needed.

Just like he expected, Sherlock Holmes had tensed from the touch, like he did with every sort of physical contact.

But John Watson smiled, because Sherlock's arms found their way around him as well, wrapped around his back, and that's when he understood.

Sherlock Holmes was not ready, either.

Sherlock Holmes had been preparing for this encounter for years.

His logic and rationality always tried to convince him that it was futile for him to return, because John Watson had obviously, obviously, obviously forgotten about him. John Watson thinks that Sherlock Holmes is dead, it said. Obviously. There was no need to return.

But Sherlock Holmes would have none of that. He knew that John Watson would be waiting for him at the small flat at 221B, Baker Street, London, United Kingdom. He knew. He knew, knew, knew.

Sherlock Holmes had prepared himself for the day that he would arrive at 221B, Baker Street. He would knock three times at the door and be welcomed by John Watson, because he knew he would be there waiting for him.

He would sometimes imagine himself smirking at John Watson with an expression that read, I got you, didn't I? Sometimes, he would even see himself just smiling sadly and informing John Watson on how alone I was and how boring everything seemed to be. Other times, he would pretend that the whole business with him faking his death never happened, and he would walk in with a smug expression on his face and act like everything was normal.

But he was not ready when he saw the smaller man, John Watson, John Watson, John Watson, looking up at him. Because he had been waiting for him. And when John Watson hugged him, and when Sherlock Holmes hugged back, they both knew.

Sherlock Holmes knew. And John Watson knew.

Sherlock Holmes had waited. And John Watson had waited.

"Welcome back," John Watson said.

"It's good to be back," Sherlock Holmes said.

And they didn't bother to look at the other man's face, streamed with tears and lightened with relief and pure happiness that had been absent from their lives for such a ling time. Because they knew.


A/N - First Sherlock one shot. Still crying over that episode. Reviews are welcomed and admired.