It had been months since that day. The day that John's life was pulled out from underneath him. The day that Sherlock died.
John hadn't been the same since. He rarely stayed at the flat. He couldn't bare to. It was like he was searching for him whenever he went out. The only time he came back was at night. He would slip into the covers of Sherlock's bed. In the dark, with the last of the detective's scent surrounding him, he could pretend he was still there. But then the nightmares would come. The sound of his last goodbye. The black and blue blur falling. Images of blood pooling on the sidewalk. John would wake up with sobs and the scent of him masked by his own. Sherlock, his best friend, was gone and there was no going back to a regular life.
Nothing was real anymore. John refused to believe in a life without Sherlock. Therefore, he had none. Wandering aimlessly. Barely eating. Letting Mycroft pay for the flat. His limp had come back as if to replace what he was missing. John was merely existing and even that was hard.
There were no more cases. There were no more blogs. No more halfhearted attempts at a girlfriend. No more Sherlock Holmes. Subsequently, no more John Watson.
This night was like any other. John returned tired and alone. He wasn't sure what day it was, they had blended together and visiting his therapist had done nothing to fix that.
Upon opening the door of 221B Baker Street, John was met with an unmistakable noise. He rushed up the stairs following the sound of the violin. He swung the door open to see the silhouetted figure of the tall man playing in the dark. He stopped, seeing John, and stepped into the light of the window.
John could barely form a coherent thought. The room felt as if it were spinning. The center of gravity being what must have been a reanimated corpse. He had felt his pulse that day, or rather the lack of one. This couldn't be real. Sherlock was dead. There was only one thing he could think of.
"That's hardly a way to greet someone, John!" Sherlock tenderly felt his lip which was bleeding from the punch John had thrown at him.
"How- what do you-" John lost control of his emotions and started sobbing. Sherlock stopped tending to his wound and turned his attention to John. Sherlock knew he was horrible at feelings, even worse at empathy and he hardly had any idea what to do in this type of situation. It wasn't like he had any experience in dealing with people who have just realized their friend is not dead and is in fact standing in front of them with a bleeding lip. Sherlock highly doubted anyone had experience in this.
"John... Are you okay?" John thought this was a stupid question. The stupidest question Sherlock would dare let leave his mouth. Stupid because even John didn't know the answer. "John, I'm sorry. Please stop cr-" John latched on and held Sherlock tightly. Sherlock hugged him back after a moment of surprise. John sobbed into his chest. Once he regained a bit of his composure he was glad no one was watching them. People might talk. He edged out of the embrace with a nervous cough and wiped his eyes in embarrassment.
"Uh Sherlock... please don't do that again."
"Hm?" This disappointed him. Hugging John had been rather nice.
"I mean the whole... dying thing."
"Ah yes, that was a one time deal. Don't plan on doing that again." Sherlock glanced around the room and he landed a confused gaze towards the bedroom. "Have you been sleeping in my bed?"