Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Sherlock, or the #believeinsherlock movement, nor do I condone vandalism, there are more legal ways to spread the movement. This ficlet was posted on January 16th on my tumblr, I did not steal it. Based off the picture by ihavebeensherlocked on tumblr.
The paint can has fallen off the mantel. It has laid on the edge of the carpet for the better part of two months, knocked off by Sherlock when he was having one of his hysterics. This is the used one; there are two unopened cans that are still stacked upon the mantle.
John doesn't know why now he choses to pick it up. He hadn't bothered to do it before. He wasn't even sure why the cans were still in the house; the case had been closed months ago, and it's not like the flat mates were the vandal type.
But he sees it. He stoops down and picks it up and rubs his thumb over the dust label.
"Dust is eloquent."
He wants to drop it back on the floor, but he doesn't. He takes in a shaky breath and closes his eyes and Jesus Christ, John, it's a godforsaken spray paint can. Why are you getting so worked up, John.
Everything reminds him of Sherlock.
Just standing in 221b is suffocating. The walls are closing in, but the flat seems empty without another body to occupy it. Sherlock had been slight, though, but his presence large. Through his belongings, he took up more space. His intellect was like another being on its own, omnipresent.
John opens his eyes. He shakes the paint can, hearing it rattle. He goes to place it on the mantel when an idea hits him.
That night, he takes to the streets.
He wields the three paint cans and with trembling hands, he writes.
The first message is so shaky it's nearly unreadable. The next one is steadier. And the next after that.
Soon, he can scrawl the message in seconds flat. His heart was still pounding, adrenaline running through his veins with the aspect of getting caught, the thrill of the chase. A kerchief is pulled over his mouth and nose.
He writes and he writes and he writes.
The next morning, London wakes up to a sea of harsh yellow lines. A repeated message all over the sides of buildings proclaiming, "I believe in Sherlock Holmes".
The day after, more words join them.
On buses, bridges, poles, and side walks.
Spray paint sales rocket. Sharpies are passed in hallways.
In the span of a few nights, the city is painted. John can't walk half a block before seeing the words in ink or paint or one a sticker somewhere.
For the first time in weeks, his heart soars.
A/N: This was loads of fun to write and post. If you don't know about #believeinsherlock, I suggest you google it, it's really incredible and gives the Sherlock fandom a huge sense of community. This is my contribution, which I may even continue because I'd love to explore the post-Sherlock world, and how people react to the news that he was a fraud.
Anyway, I'd love your thoughts on this, thank you for reading!