Every so often someone complains about having a song follow them around. Every shop they walk into, it's playing. Every time they turn on the radio, it's on. John has seen Sherlock drive himself mad with it and he's seen Lestrade give serious consideration to throwing his radio across his office. John has had this experience himself every once in awhile, just like everyone else, but one song stays with him. One song has been drummed into him since conception for good or ill and that song was 'Hey Jude.'

'Hey Jude' was the rhythm and melody of John Watson's life. There were worse songs to be as essential to you as your heart and lungs and John was glad that he'd grown up to appreciate the Beatles. Not that he'd been given all that much of a choice.

From the moment she had been told she was expecting his mother had known somehow that he was going to be a boy. Harry, a little girl of four and a half then, had also been convinced. His mother as a result had decided on his names very early on. Her second child was to be named Jude Hamish Watson. Hamish was the name of John's paternal grandfather (he had died many years before Harry's birth) and Jude was the name of his maternal one.

Jude Blythe had really been properly known as Doctor Julian Blythe. Said Dr. Blythe had also been his mother's stepfather not her birth father. His mother had no memory of her birth father (he had left John's maternal grandmother when his mother had been a toddler) so Dr. Blythe was the only father she had ever known and the only one she claimed. That being said he had always been uneasy with being called "Dad" so he had always been called Jude by his step daughter.

So Julia Watson's second child, and first son, would be named Jude and Jude Senior had been honoured. They all referred to her bump as Jude and Harry often sang "Hey Jude" to his mother's stomach and his mother would do the same. Even Jude Blythe had referred to him thus and had sung the song despite insisting that there was no way this baby could hear or understand any of it.

Jude Blythe had died of a sudden, massive stroke on the day of John's birth (three hours after his birth in actual fact though the initial stroke had happened almost instantaneously with John's first breath). His mother then decided that his name was going to be John. The grief was too fresh and too new for her to call her son by what she'd always called her father. She couldn't bear calling her baby Jude when his namesake had died on the same day as he'd been born.

His birth certificate said John Hamish Watson but he had been Jude Watson for nine months in utero and a several times as a baby when people were still confused. Everyone eventually, of course, remembered he was John Watson not Jude Watson and that had been the end of that. Or at least it was supposed to have been.

Harry remembered the name and used it from time to time when they were alone. Only in certain instances, though; when John really needed his big sister or a hug or just as a way of saying hello privately between them. More often than not Harry would just hum or whistle "Hey Jude" whenever she thought he needed to hear it.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better

It had been like having a secret identity. Yes he was John but really, really deep down he was actually Jude. Harry saw it in him and knew it and called him that when she really, really, wanted him to know something.

That song was a lifeline to his life. He hummed it when his first girlfriend left him. He hummed it to himself at night when things were at their worst in Afghanistan. He played it in his mind whenever he needed something to get him through the next seven minutes and two seconds. And the ones after that. And the ones after that.

The medics had told him that he'd hummed the song when he'd been pulled out and shipped out of the battlefield. He had also damn near sobbed it to himself after he'd been told that he was being invalided home with hole in his shoulder, hand tremors, and a psychosomatic limp.

When Harry had eventually come to pick him up, via cab and drunk as anything, she'd said nothing. She said nothing for the two days he'd stayed with her before moving to the bedsit.

He can still hear four year old Harry singing in his blood.

Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Soon enough it does get better but it's not because of Harry.

The next time John gives 'Hey Jude' any serious amount of thought is when Harry dies. Drunk driving and she'd managed to kill herself and not the people in the other car. There was that small amount of justice in the universe he supposes. Sherlock doesn't go to the funeral. Not that John had expected it of him or wanted him to be there of course. He waits until the handful of people leave and then sets up camp on the gravesite. He waits for 'Hey Jude' to start whistling through the trees. It doesn't. He is as grateful for that as much as he is gutted by it. He expects that little part of him that is Jude Watson (perhaps that part of him is really Jude Blythe) to fade away but it doesn't. With every step he takes away from the cemetery he feels it take deeper root in him, if that was even possible at this point.

Later that week he gets a CD. Or rather he finds it as he's clearing up Harry's flat. It's tucked in the pages of a book that Harry had always forgotten to return to him. It has ten tracks and they are all versions of 'Hey Jude'. The original, a live version, the version from that movie a few years back, Bing Crosby, Fry and Laurie...

Then there's the last track. The last track is of Harry singing along to a bad karaoke version of it. She sounds lovely.

He doesn't really know what it's there for or why it exists but he takes it with him when he leaves.

When he gets back to 221b he manages to get past Sherlock and locks himself in his room. He plays the thing the whole way through. Eventually he put's Harry's version on loop and just sits back and listens to a sober and living Harry singing.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

He never tells Sherlock about it but it's always a mistake to assume you have a secret from Sherlock Holmes.

Two months later John is freezing and bleeding to death in Sherlock's arms – he is unsure whether it's going to be the cold or the knife wound that gets him in the end – when Sherlock sings it to him. He's forcing it out between his own panicked and frozen breaths as well as his attempts to stop John's bleeding. Of course Sherlock would have noticed the presence of that song in his life, John laughs mentally to himself. Of course he has. The real question is how is it that he's never noticed that Sherlock noticed? He can remember in full detail later, after he's better, every single time he's found himself humming it or tapping it or even singing it quietly in Sherlock's presence. He may not know how or why 'Hey Jude' is what it is but he knows that it's something that John likes to hear.

Later, after John's back home, Sherlock deduces everything except the name change part, which John decides to leave out to see if he does figure it out. Part of him wants Sherlock to know it, know this last secret part of him, but he wants him to earn it. He has no other way to put it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Sherlock had asked permission to deduce before he'd actually done it.

Of course though, just as John had known he would, Sherlock figures it out. John just doesn't realise how quick it is until Sherlock informs him that he has been calling him Jude for the past three days in the flat and he has responded every time. Sherlock asks permission, again, to deduce the name change and John decrees that everything is correct. There are some things that Sherlock does not say but John knows that he knows.

It is comforting. He finds himself humming the song and Sherlock joins in on the violin soon after.

Every once in awhile, from that point onward, Sherlock will play 'Hey Jude' on the violin for him. Sometimes he gets a weird Beatles mood and he plays a bunch of them together but it's really only ever 'Hey Jude' or 'Let it Be' that he ever hears all the way through. Usually it's 'Hey Jude' and it's only when the two of them are alone that he plays it.

He only plays it when John needs it and of course Sherlock always knows when he needs it. It's as if Sherlock understands he's been entrusted with something very important and doesn't ever speak of it to John unless it's through that violin.

Several months later Sherlock is on top of St. Bart's trying to tell him that he's a fraud. That he researched John before he met him to impress him. Aside from that fact that it's all bollocks (Sherlock hadn't known him from a hole in the wall until he'd walked in with Stamford that day and they both know it) John knows too well how brilliant Sherlock is. He's been watching it for over a year now and he is no fool. He considers mentioning the Jude thing but he balks and mentions his sister instead. The sister that Sherlock had originally thought a brother to be correct but he doesn't mention that either.

Sherlock jumps anyway. The papers feast on his rotting corpse and John brokenly tries to coax 'Hey Jude' out of the violin on his first night alone in the flat. Of course he can't. Violin had never been his thing.

So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin
You're waiting for someone to perform with.

He beats the words out of his head. He doesn't want to hear them. He doesn't want to feel better. The song that has followed him his whole life has no reason to be with him now. The only living person who knew about it is dead. It feels like he should disappear without someone to validate that part of his existence.

Whispering it to himself does nothing to keep either of them with him either.

Six weeks after Sherlock's death John gets a phone call from Lestrade. He hasn't spoken to him since the day they'd been arrested. He had seen Lestrade at the funeral and had refused to speak to him. Really both Lestrade and Mycroft were lucky he hadn't just killed them both with his bare hands. They had both fed Sherlock to the lions and they were the enemy from that point on. Sure Lestrade had warned them, sort of, but he had allowed the doubt to get to him to the point that he had to go to his boss. Then again, his rational mind reminds him that Donovan or Anderson would have just gone over him anyway but that would have hurt far less.

When he sees Lestrade's name on the caller ID he almost doesn't answer it. Something tells him to pick it up so he does and Lestrade launches right into it. "I believe in Sherlock Holmes," he says. "I always believed in him and I believed in him before you met him and I believed in him when he was high as a kite ninety five percent of the time so do not start with me, John Watson. Right now every case he has ever touched is being reopened and I've done my best to fight it alone. I need back up and no one will stand with me. I know that you will, if not for my neck but for his. Please, John. Help me make sure none of these bastards are released. That none of the work he's done is in vain. Maybe we can save him from the dogs, yet."

John has never been able to say no to a call to arms. He rises to the occasion. He raids Sherlock's death trap of a bedroom and hauls out every single note, all of his own notes, everything, and sets up camp in Lestrade's office for the next nine months as the two of them fight and fight and fight for what remains of Sherlock Holmes. John is waiting to be told to sod off for a whole list of reasons but no one says anything. Lestrade says he's his research assistant and the fact that no one questions that along with his cases reeks of pity and it infuriates Lestrade.

The papers, naturally, have a field day with this. Both his and Lestrade's names are quickly becoming dirtier and dirtier but John really, really doesn't care. If his reputation has to be in tatters to save what little remains of Sherlock's he'll take that.

One day, as they're entering hour three of cross-referencing the Bennett serial murder case, Lestrade taps his foot and starts singing under his breath. It takes a few seconds for John to realise that he's singing "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO. He's heard Lestrade tap this and hum this to himself before when stressed out or ready to throw punches. John doesn't know why he joins in with him at the next pass through what passes for the chorus of this song.

I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
Don't bring me down

Lestrade doesn't stop but looks at him oddly. Of course he's looking at him like that, why would he join in like this? John smiles as best as he can at him and sings a little bit louder. Soon enough they're attracting attention from people passing by, they look at them like they are the saddest and most disillusioned people they've ever met. John's response is to sing louder as stabs another marker on the massive map of London they've put up on Lestrade's wall. Lestrade ups the ante by turning on his iPod dock and blasting the song as loud as he possibly can on loop as he writes more notes on the adjacent wall. Eventually that ends up being the song that the media plays to mock them whenever they're discussed on the news. They simply think of it as a battle cry for the three of them.

You're always talking about your crazy nights
One of these days you're gonna get it right
Don't bring me down, no no no no no
I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
Don't bring me down

Their findings, of course, are that Sherlock Holmes was indeed as clever as he'd appeared and had been that good of a man and they know that the independent investigators will find the same thing. There was no way that he'd made up these crimes or staged them in any way shape or form. All the evidence was always right in front of them; Sherlock was just faster at finding it and drawing conclusions. Some more evidence floats their way a few days before the hearing that conclusively proves the existence of one James Moriarty. John doesn't have the courage to thank Mycroft to his face but shoots off a quick email containing the two words and prays a car doesn't show up to kidnap him anytime soon.

The other conclusive part of the investigation is that there are definite alibis as to Sherlock's whereabouts on almost all of the cases where John had helped him because he had been with John almost all of those times. Keeping receipts held several purposes apparently, almost as much as being attached at the hip to the man. It angers him, really. John knows it angers Lestrade as well. People were just so lazy nowadays. They would rather believe headlines than do any sort of research. That drives the pair of them to work harder.

On the day of the hearing they drive over together and walk through the sea of journalists without a comment. The photos that are later published in the newspaper make them look like they're in a slow motion walk on scene. Lestrade's coat fanning out behind him in the wind coupled with John wearing sunglasses due to being slight hung over does not help matters.

He and Lestrade destroy the hearing. Every single angle of attack is one that they have anticipated and they defend themselves accordingly. For every accusation to Sherlock there is surety that it could not possibly have been him. It is with the greatest horror and the greatest respect, by the end at any rate, that all the judgments of those cases are upheld. They also even admit that Sherlock Holmes was what he was and that the evidence was irrefutable in that regard as well.

John means to give the collection of pissed off Yarders the finger on the way out. He changes his mind after he's already turned and raised his fist in the air so he just keeps it there awkwardly for a second before he leaves. Naturally some reporter snaps that and that photo haunts John for weeks. That night it's everywhere, a photo of him looking grim but victorious with one fist in the air with the background behind him faded into nothing. Blessedly, they don't play "Don't Bring Me Down" when they show it on the news later that night.

Back at Lestrade's office a week later, after they've put away the notes and cleared up the walls, John allows himself to actually feel victorious. For the first time in months he feels more than hears a little bit of "na, na, na, na, na ,na ,na" going on in his head.

"What's that you're singing?" Lestrade asks him. "That 'Hey Jude?'"

John nods and provides no other explanation. Lestrade starts singing it. John joins in, almost smiling, as they walk out of his office and march toward the press conference that John has been talked into attending with Lestrade. John takes on the press cheerfully and has at them as viciously as Sherlock used to at crime scenes. He and Lestrade proudly walk by Donovan and Anderson without a second glance. The chief superintendant cowers behind a door when John makes eye contact with him.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

It's another verse that comes to mind later as he wonders why it feels like he's missing something.

Hey Jude, don't let me down
You have found her now go and get her.

His last blog entry had been "He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him." He thinks he can do much better than that.

"I've got an idea," he says to Lestrade over a pint a few days after the press conference. "For all those people who may still believe otherwise." There's not many of them left, just a few naysayers but they're noisy enough. When he tells Lestrade he is all for it and offers any help he can. His first request is to face Mycroft with him; he needs all the information he can. He really needed have bothered with the back up since Mycroft is almost too happy to provide John with the things he needs. "Write it well, John," is all Mycroft asks of him return. "Write it well."

John sits himself down and starts writing that evening. Lestrade does the research and pulls together the relevant details, and makes sure that he doesn't set himself up for another inquiry. It takes three weeks but it's done. Sherlock's defence is typed out in multiple copies stacked on his old desk back at Baker Street. It looks wonderful seeing it all lying out there. He gives it, free, to all the major papers and they all run it without question. He also posts it on his blog.

The response is overwhelming. The papers struggle to keep up and the online copies get such heavy traffic that hit counters freeze and pages crash. No doubt the memory of the man will fade in time but no one will think of Sherlock Holmes as a faker ever again when they are reminded of him. For a few days it feels as though nothing could ever go wrong ever again. He is high on the successful completion of a case for the first time since Moriarty.

It takes forty two hours for him to remember that clearing Sherlock's name will not bring him back.

He puts on 'Hey Jude' when he gets in and blasts it throughout the flat. He "na na"'s along with the chorus for the whole three minutes and thirty two seconds as loud as he possibly can. Nobody complains and it almost makes him feel better.

The next morning he visits Sherlock's grave with a copy of the published defence. He folds it up and buries it as far under the headstone as he can. "Some reading material," he offers by way of explanation. "I know you don't care what they think of you and don't understand why I do but...here it is." He can't fathom to this day why Sherlock had been so desperate to convince him that he was a fraud, why he leapt to his death, why any of this had gone on.

Actually he has a fairly good idea. He may not be as smart as Sherlock Holmes but he knew best that Sherlock was human. He remembered all of the talk of fairy tales and falls and Moriarty's master plan to destroy Sherlock physically and as an idea. He'd jumped to play the part but that wouldn't be why Sherlock had actually done it. Sherlock didn't care about his reputation and he certainly wasn't about to kill himself over it.

He'd jumped because he had to comply with Moriarty's wishes or else people would be made to suffer. People in this instance meant one of a handful of people and, judging by the conversation echoing through his head, John knew he was one of them. He could hear the 'please God let him live' in Sherlock's voice now as clearly as he'd heard in his own when he'd told Sherlock to run that night at the pool.

His first thought is "stupid bloody idiot" but of course he understands. John had tried to do the same thing once before so it was far beyond him to judge. Instead he shudders to think what Sherlock would have done in the face of all this had their positions been reversed. He would have been absolutely insufferable. There would have been violin playing and there would have been composing, he can say that with no ego. In fact he wonders just how long Sherlock would have lasted with him six feet under.

"Thank you," John says to the marker finally. "I'll try not to let what you did go in vain. No promises though." John has no idea what the hell he's saying or what the hell he means so he leaves before he can think too much on it.

He has more work to do, is what he tells himself. Carry on, Captain. That's an order.

Hey Jude, don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

One year to the day after Sherlock jumped Mycroft organizes a proper wake, or rather a wake of sorts. Sherlock's funeral had been beyond tense and very tainted by the press crowing over the suicide of a fraud. Mycroft decides they need to try it again in acknowledgement of the events of the past year and John is all for it. Maybe this time he can eulogize his friend without breaking down into tears two seconds in. He decides against it before he can even be asked. Aside from the fact that he knows he can't do it he considers the defence his eulogy.

When he and Lestrade arrive at the church there's a piano sitting there. He eyeballs it carefully and looks over at Mycroft. "I'd ask who told you but I guess I did," he waggles his fingers. Mycroft nods and says it's elementary. No one else in the room (the gathering is only the two of them, Lestrade, Molly, and Mrs. Hudson) was aware that John had a musical bone in his body.

John had learned from a friend when he'd been fourteen and he'd just been a natural at it. He had a great ear and remembered how to play anything once he played it once. Despite that he'd never taken any opportunity to study it formally. His friend, he remembered, had been jealous because John was so good and really never used it aside from the odd party.

He hadn't had the opportunity to play while serving in Afghanistan but Harry had asked him to play during the two days he'd stayed with her initially. He had tried but the hand tremors he'd developed made that incredibly difficult. He'd butchered whatever song Harry had asked him to play and swore never to touch one again, like he would never touch a scalpel again.

John had expected not to do many things again before he'd met Sherlock.

It had been on a case with Sherlock just before the Woman. They'd had to solve a pretty puzzle over at Royal Albert Hall and of course they'd ended up in the orchestra pit. Sherlock had sat himself in the first violin's seat with his violin and had started playing something furious and classical that John didn't know. When he changed into something that John actually recognized he'd nodded him toward the piano. "Could use some accompaniment with this one, John, if you wouldn't mind."

John had tried to cover like he always did with denial. Sherlock had rolled his eyes and had listed off all the ways he knew John was a piano player, albeit a lapsed one, from the first week he'd known him. "Now, I want to see how good you are."

John had indulged him with a simple enough accompaniment with one hand. Sherlock had nagged at him to do better, that he knew he could and not to mind about his hand, but he hadn't done it. He just was not ready for it, not then. He does remember though that he'd stabbed out a bit of 'Hey Jude' as he'd walked away and that Sherlock had answered in kind on the violin. They'd eventually done the whole song that way – Sherlock playing properly and John stabbing one handed at whatever parts he felt comfortable with. "One day," Sherlock had told him at the end. "I want to hear you play something properly."

That day had never come, not until today and Sherlock was not even here to appreciate it. He sits down. "What would he like?" he asks aloud.

Lestrade shifts uncomfortably. Mrs. Hudson suggests something classical but John never played it so can't play it now. Molly says she's sorry but she isn't sure.

When Mycroft suggests "Let it Be" by the Beatles John raises an eyebrow. "Sherlock was never fond of contemporary music as you well know," Mycroft explains, "but he made an exception for certain of McCartney and Lennon's endeavours. 'Let it Be,' I think, appealed to him for the 'there will be an answer' bit." Mycroft sits down beside Mrs. Hudson and nods for him to go ahead.

It was a stupidly idealistic song for Sherlock to like but if you took it out the potential religious imagery (he swore he could hear Sherlock laughing) it really was about how everything would be answered one way or the other.

He suddenly remembers Sherlock's grandmother (grandmère). He remembers Sherlock telling him about her and her encouraging him where the other adults would just try and shut him up. She had died when he was six. He remembers that Sherlock that she had always said there was always an answer to everything, even if you had to let things be to figure them out. He also remembers that her first name had beenMarie.

(Mother Mary comes to me...)

Then he remembers that he would sometimes hear this song during the more trying cases – always when Sherlock thought John was either alone or wasn't listening. Or so John had thought.

Like John had wanted Sherlock to earn the meaning of 'Hey Jude' in his life, Sherlock had wanted him to earn the meaning of 'Let it Be.' What was more humbling was that Sherlock had entrusted it to him knowing that John might never figure it out.

John cracks his knuckles and shakes out his hands. He knows this one. He's played it once before at one of Harry's birthday parties. One of her girlfriends had asked him to play it for her. Harry had screeched at him to stop it maybe two lines in. She'd screamed that she'd hated the Beatles and couldn't handle this crap drunk or sober.

He slams into the piano and plays the thing to within an inch of its life. John has never believed in an afterlife but if there's a possibility that Sherlock can hear this below ground or up in the great beyond he is damn well going to hear it loud and clear and he is going to hear it played right. He is going to know that John understands. His feet slam the pedals, his hands fly across the keys and despite himself he finds himself singing.

He has never considered himself a good singer. Mediocre at best like he has been in most normal things like this but he sings his heart out. What little he has left in him anyway. He's expecting the rest of them to join in but no one does. So he drives his fingers through the keys as he nails the solo and then belts out the last verse.

And when the night is cloudy, there is a still a light that shines on me
Shine on 'til tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
There will be an answer, let it be

let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer let it be.

And then, because he can't help it, because it's the song of his life and he doesn't think there's much of it left, he transitions the final chords into the chorus of 'Hey Jude.'

This time everyone, including Mycroft, joins in. He plays the full refrain (three minutes and thirty two seconds) and then loops it back to one final repeat of the chorus of 'Let it Be.' There, he thinks, as he rises and the echo of the final chords follow him to his seat between Molly and Lestrade. His song and Sherlock's joined together in front of the only people who matter when it comes to such things. Not that they have any idea of the significance. It's almost like a bizarre sort of secret marriage and it doesn't bother John one bit.

Unwittingly a Pogues song had been played at Harry's funeral drifts through John's head as Mycroft stands to speak.

If I should fall from grace with God where no doctor can relieve me
If I'm buried 'neath the sod but the angels won't receive me
Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys

John shakes his head. The Holmes brothers are and were horrible at letting things go (or letting things be) and John has been much the same.

He whispers 'never' to himself and no one but Molly notices. She squeezes his hand encouragingly. "He wouldn't want you to."

Not that John particularly cares what Sherlock would have wanted one way or the other but having a sort of okay that he can keep his misery is a nice bit of cold comfort.

It's an afternoon affair and it goes to just past dinner. Lestrade has to get home to his daughters, Mrs. Hudson needs to get home to take her meds, and Mycroft doubtless has a coup to plan somewhere. Mycroft and he shake hands for the first time since Moriarty and no formal words are said between them but John knows that they are back on good terms as Mycroft pulls away. Molly gives John a big hug and tells him that Sherlock liked that. He doesn't feel like correcting her tenses. He knows Sherlock would have liked it and that's all that matters to him. He tells everyone he's going for a walk but really he's going to the gravesite. He hasn't been in a few weeks.

The grave had been lonely before and this time there are a few other flowers and tributes and mementos here. He can spot Mrs. Hudson's flowers, Lestrade's box of nicotine patches, and his own contribution of a shock blanket for the gravesite but the rest are from fans he guesses. From people who are trying to make amends with a man who wasn't here to care about them and who wouldn't care even if he was.

John however appreciates it. "I was right," he declares to the absent audience. "I was right and you lot were all idiots. I fucking win." It was something that he'd said much more diplomatically at the press conference a month ago but it feels much better this way.

It still rings hollow though, no matter how many times and how many ways he says it. He takes a seat by the grave and leans against the tree. He pulls a flask out of his suit jacket pocket and toasts it. "Happy anniversary, you selfish bastard." He takes a sip and refuses to wince as the burn goes through him. Jameson has never been kind to him. That had been precisely why he'd picked it after all.

"Hope you liked your song," he blathers on as he stares back at the church. "I'm never touching a piano again so don't expect an encore performance. My apologies if my voice wasn't quite right either, that wasn't in the original plan but...well, you know." He shrugs and takes another sip. Then he sighs and leans his head against the marker. "This is supposed to get easier, isn't it?" he asks. "Time healing all wounds or whatever. I felt better for maybe a day or two when Greg and I cleared your name. Then it was right back to square one – like I was watching you fall all over again. I still won't go past Bart's, you know. If I have to I turn my head away or shut my eyes... Not that it ever helps."

He looks across the site to where another burial is going on. Someone is wailing and another man is supporting a young child. Somebody's parent has died – he can't figure out which but he is positive that Sherlock would have known the whole story with one glance.

"I'm still waiting for that miracle, you know," John suddenly says. It takes him a minute to remember what he's talking about – the first month, the one thing he'd asked Sherlock's ghost to do for him – and then he keeps going. "Now would be the perfect time to come waltzing out of the ether, Sherlock. It's just dramatic enough for you." He takes another sip. "Can you not be dead. Please?" He sounds like a child and he knows it. He's just glad that no one is around to hear it.

He finishes his flask as night falls across the cemetery. He's not totally drunk but he is more than slightly tipsy as he wanders to the front of the church in search of a cab. He is whistling, singing, and humming some mad combination of 'Let it Be' and 'Hey Jude' as he is driven home by the world's most tolerant cab driver. He tries to pay him extra for his trouble but doesn't even thank the man when he says no charge.

He hauls himself up the stairs and face plants into Sherlock's bed. He's asleep instantly.

When John opens his eyes he hears music. (I wake up to the sound of music) and it doesn't sound quite right. That's not Paul McCartney singing. He listens a bit harder and realises to his horror that it's him singing. Somebody had bloody taped the thing. Wasn't it indecent to bring a camera phone into a church?

He pushes himself up off the bed and throws open the door ready to ream whoever it is for recording something so private but his words choke him as he takes in the sight of Sherlock Holmes sitting on their sofa staring at John's laptop.

John blinks. He shuts his eyes and counts to ten. When he opens them Sherlock is still there and now he's staring at him. John had seen those eyes looking dull and glassy the last time he'd seen them. The eyes are very alive and warm now. He almost thinks there's moisture gathering there but he's not sure whether that's a trick of the light or not. His own voice continues singing through the tinny laptop speakers. He sounds deranged, he notes distantly. They stand there, well John stands and Sherlock sits, as the final chords of 'Let it Be' transition into 'Hey Jude'.

"Na," Sherlock starts. "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na..."

"Hey Jude," John whispers pre-emptively. "Na, na, na..."

The song is silenced by the mute button. "Hey John," Sherlock answers.

John's knees give out but Sherlock catches him before he hits ground. He feels consciousness leaving but he grips as tight to Sherlock's wonderfully solid and alive shoulders as he possibly can to keep himself awake. If he passes out and Sherlock is not right here he does not want to know what that will do to him. Sherlock grabs onto him even tighter, knowing full well what John is trying to accomplish. Quite frankly, John is surprised that Sherlock hasn't just absorbed him into himself with how tight he's holding him. Shock is shock though and John does fall into the dark. When he wakes though his fingers ache like nothing and he hears 'Hey Jude' being hummed into his ear. He is still gripping Sherlock's shoulders and Sherlock has only moved them from standing beside the sofa to laying on it together. He hasn't let John go for however long he's been out. Probably only a minute or so, it sounds like Sherlock hasn't gotten very far into the song.

"You faked it," John laughs, muffled by Sherlock's coat and chest. "Of course you fucking faked it you fucking bastard."

"I only needed to appear dead. I didn't need to actually be dead." At this point Sherlock would go off and explain how brilliant he was but he knows John figured out why he did what he did a long time ago. What he does do is apologize. "I should have told you," Sherlock admits as sits them up and lets him go. "I would have if there had been a way but I didn't want to risk you. Didn't want to risk any of you."

John hugs him again to shut him up. He understands. He knows he ought to punch Sherlock in the face, or kill him for real, for what he's done but he can't find the heart to do it. He's defended Sherlock this far. Defended him to the point of everyone actually listening to him for once; it would be poor of him to undo that now.

So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin
You're waiting for someone to perform with
And don't you know that it's just you, hey Jude, you'll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder

"Next time, and there had never bloody be a next time, a text, a postcard, or something would be appreciated," is what he tells him when they finally let go of each other.

Sherlock snorts out a chuckle but his eyes are serious as he nods. "We're getting a piano," is what Sherlock says aloud. "I would like to see that for myself."

There is plenty more to discuss but that can wait for now. Sherlock will tell him all about everything, he'll thank John for the defence (even though it made his job harder) and John will pull up all the old media coverage from the past year and they'll go see Lestrade together. For now though, at this moment, Sherlock restarts the video and they sit there and watch John play again. Sherlock keeps one arm around John's shoulders, gently squeezing, for the whole time.

John leans his head to the side to rest on that arm and is just glad that Sherlock performed that one miracle for him and that there was an answer after all.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad
(When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me)
Take a sad song and make it better
(Speaking words of wisdom, let it be)
Remember to let her into your heart
(For in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me)
Then you can start to make it better.
(Speaking words of wisdom, let it be)