Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
John made his weekly sojourn to Sherlock's grave alone. He didn't bring flowers as was customary because he knew that while Sherlock might secretly appreciate the sentiment, he would openly scoff at it and he would certainly have no use for the floral. Instead, John clipped out or printed off interesting news articles and presented them at his friend's grave as his offering.
"Hello, Sherlock," John said gently, slowly bending over and placing the gift in front of the tombstone. "It's been a pretty good week. Donovan finally admitted she was wrong about you and she almost didn't look pained. Granted this is months after everyone else changed their tune but I really think we should take what we can get. That 'Save Sherlock' campaign worked better than I ever thought and I have a sinking suspicion we have your brother to thank for that. I'm still annoyed at him for the part he played in all of this, though, so I won't be thanking him unless he outright admits what he did and I think we both know the likelihood of that ever happening."
John smiled as he thought about his next piece of news. "Mary finally agreed to move in with me. I think that I love her, Sherlock, I really do. She wants to meet you, you know, and I told her that I'd arrange it as soon as possible. She's been waiting a pretty long time already. Today's the one year anniversary of your jump and I met her two weeks after I last saw you. I know that you'll love her, too."
He paused, seriously considering his words. "Maybe not at first," he conceded reluctantly. "In fact, you'll probably resent my spending so much time with her like you do with all my other girlfriends. And, like you did with all my other girlfriends, you'll call her Sarah for as long as you think you can get away with it. Eventually, though, she'll win you over because she's not going anywhere and so you simply have no choice in the matter. I am fully prepared to be very boring about the matter."
John heard someone approaching him from behind but didn't turn around. They'd reveal themselves to him when they were ready so he saw no need to rush them.
A few minutes passed in silence though John was painfully aware of the figure behind him. He was a patient man, however, and was prepared to wait it out.
"Two weeks?" the man finally broke the silence by asking. "You only waited two weeks before meeting some girl?"
"I couldn't help when I met her," John replied mildly. "And she's not just 'some girl.' Mary is special."
"You couldn't possibly have known that when you first met," the man protested.
"But I know that now," John said simply. "And even then I wasn't prepared to toy with her for weeks or months until 'enough' time had passed." He finally turned around. "Hello, Sherlock."
"You don't seem surprised to see me," Sherlock observed, frowning. He seemed almost disappointed.
"Oh, I'm very surprised to see you," John assured him.
"You don't look surprised," Sherlock complained.
"No, I am," John insisted. "I had no idea that you would be here today."
"What about the fact that I came back from the dead?" Sherlock pressed.
John nodded. "Yes, if you came back from the dead I would be suitably surprised. I might even faint. If I did then I would deny it until my dying breath but it might happen."
"I've been dead for a year, John," Sherlock said disgustedly, rolling his eyes.
"And you look damn good for it, too," John quipped. "Still not gay, by the way."
"John, you're not stupid so kindly stop pretending you don't know what I'm talking about," Sherlock instructed.
John was sorely tempted to continue the pretence but Sherlock had just come back from the dead after all so maybe he should be nice.
He nodded. "Alright. Does the fact that you're back mean that you and Mycroft have finished dismantling Moriarty's criminal enterprise?"
Sherlock froze so completely that it took a moment before John was certain that he was even still breathing.
"Um, Sherlock?" John called worriedly, hoping desperately that he hadn't just broken his best friend.
There was no reply at first.
"You knew?" Sherlock whispered finally.
John blinked. "Yeah, of course." A nagging suspicion tugged at his mind. "Sherlock, was I not supposed to know?"
Sherlock said nothing.
"Oh, I should have known," John grumbled. "You always tell me that I don't notice anything. I always assumed that that was just in comparison to you but you meant that literally, didn't you?"
"Perhaps you should tell me how you realized that I was still alive," Sherlock suggested, carefully avoiding the question.
"I was thinking about what happened and it was just incomprehensible to me that you would kill yourself; you're far too fond of yourself for that," John replied, allowing the change of subject to avoid a fight with his newly rediscovered friend. "But clearly you did jump so something else must have been going on."
"Very good, John," Sherlock said, actually sounding impressed.
John nodded, accepting the compliment. "I didn't understand when you were so…so apathetic in the face of Mrs. Hudson being shot. It flew in the face of everything I knew about you. I'm sorry for what I said."
"You reacted as you were supposed to," Sherlock assured him.
"I realized that once I got back to the flat and Mrs. Hudson was fine. You were so flippant because you knew and because, once again, you were trying to turn me against you. You tried to plant doubt in my mind earlier and then you outright claimed you were a fraud. I can only assume you were trying to make your 'death' easier for me."
"That was part of it, yes," Sherlock murmured.
"And after that concussion I got – which I don't even know if it was an accident or not – I wasn't in any state to tell what was going on," John continued. "And I only saw you for a minute besides. Then there's the fact that in your phone call you made sure I was a witness and then started telling me about you and fakes and magic tricks right before appearing to die."
"So you came to the conclusion that my death was faked," Sherlock finished.
"But I wasn't supposed to," John said, narrowing his eyes. "You wanted me to think that you were dead."
"I wouldn't say 'wanted' is quite rig-" Sherlock began.
"I needed you to play the part of the grieving friend to convince the world that I was really dead," Sherlock explained.
John threw his hands up in the air. "What do you think I've spent the last year doing? I haven't spent all this time talking to an empty grave and seeing Ella again for my health."
"Ella? What happened to Sarah?" Sherlock asked innocently.
"It's Mary. And Ella's my therapist," John reminded him.
"I thought you stopped going to see her," Sherlock said, frowning.
"I had up until your 'death'," John answered. "I had to make it look convincing."
"I just felt that it would be safer if you weren't acting," Sherlock told him.
"I acted in Shakespeare!" John thundered.
"You were a tree," Sherlock said flatly.
"A pivotal tree," John said stubbornly. "The whole play would have fallen…apart…without…you still read my blog?"
Sherlock's ears were faintly pink. "It was the best way to keep informed on what was going on in your life," he said stiffly. "And it was either that or ask my brother."
John smiled. "You missed me."
"You are more conducive to seeing the light than Yorick," Sherlock admitted.
"I'm better than 'doing fine'? I'm really coming up in the world," John deadpanned.
"I sent you away so that I could meet with Moriarty on the roof," Sherlock said quietly, evidently wanting to get back to his tale.
"What?" John's eyes bulged. "I would have thought you'd have learned after what happened at the pool!"
"You mean the conclusion of 'The Great Game'?" Sherlock asked dryly. "I did learn. I knew it might end with my death and so Molly and I planned accordingly."
"You told Molly and not me?" John looked hurt.
"I needed her," Sherlock said unapologetically.
"She cried more than Mrs. Hudson at your funeral," John said slowly, trying to work it all out.
Sherlock shrugged. "She's Molly. And speaking of Mrs. Hudson, did you tell her that I was still alive?"
"No and if she asks then I had no idea," John said firmly.
"Moriarty threatened to kill her," Sherlock confided. "And you and Lestrade. All of my friends. All but Molly and that's where he miscalculated."
John's ears perked up. "Lestrade's been promoted to friend status? I'm sure he'll be glad to hear it."
Sherlock scowled. "Really, John, there's no need to-"
"It's going on my blog," John interrupted. "But did Moriarty really just threaten us? He must have done more if you had to resort to taking such drastic measures to stop him."
Sherlock nodded grimly. "He had snipers trained on the three of you and he said that only my fall would save you. I had to take his word for it, unfortunately, so it's a good thing he was telling the truth. He then chose to commit suicide to destroy any chance of me finding another solution."
John started. "Moriarty's dead? Well…I suppose I figured that he would be before you returned but for so long? And we didn't find a body."
"That would only have complicated things given that he was still considered to be an actor I hired," Sherlock replied. "So Molly took care of it."
"So everything is settled, right?" John asked anxiously. "And you can come back to life?"
Sherlock smirked. "I can indeed. Mycroft can take care of the details and I'm quite looking forward to seeing the reactions. I'm sure they'll become boring soon enough but there's really no escaping them."
"I could put it on my blog," John offered.
Sherlock tilted his head, considering. "Maybe not just yet." He frowned. "You said that Mary wanted to meet me. Did you tell her that I was alive?"
John considered it a victory of sorts that Sherlock had already gotten his girlfriend's name right but knew that drawing attention to it would be counterproductive.
He shook his head. "No, just that I wanted her to meet you at some point. I think she might be a little concerned about me, actually…"
"Well she'll know the truth soon enough," Sherlock said indifferently.
"How about tonight," John said, his tone making it clear it wasn't a question. "We have dinner plans."
Naturally, there was only one way that Sherlock would respond to such a situation.
"John, fetch me my revolver."
Note: I felt sorry for John with all the stories out there of virtually everyone else knowing the truth so I decided to give him his moment.