All was quiet as the army doctor limped towards the headstone. He noticed very little other than the wet grass squishing under his feet and the cold air on his cheeks. He knew the way. He had walked this route many times before in the past three years.
Three years later. Three years since the best times of his life that were ended as abruptly as the life of the best man he knew. If Mike Stamford had told John that the man who needed a flatmate would become so much more than that, John would have found him peculiar. If people walking on Baker Street the first time they approached 221B stopped to tell John that they would become the best of friends, John would have told them to mind their own business. If the people in the halls of Saint Barts would have told him that the man he met would change his life and then change it right back by jumping off the same building he met you in the first place John may have just punched them in the face.
That was three years ago.
John was healing. He didn't brace himself before opening the fridge anymore. He didn't look over his shoulder to make sure that he wasn't about to raise a bored fit that would require intervention. He had his moments though. The chip on the shelf where the knife used to hold down important documents when he was dusting. The time the painting fell off the wall and revealed old bullet holes. This time, he found an old notebook while sorting out what should go into storage. On a whim, he decided to visit him.
He stood in front of the grave with no expressions on his face. He didn't start talking until he was sure no one was watching.
"You…you're not in the papers anymore," John started. He leaned heavily on his cane. The leg always hurt more when he was here. "People have forgotten about you. I mean, most people. I'm not most people."
"You would have laughed at that one. Probably. You would have said, yes, you are like most people. And then you would fly into some deduction about what I did that day before coming back to the flat because you were bored and there wasn't a case. And because yeah, I am most people."
Another pause. This one was longer as John breathed slowly as he reflected on his thoughts and what he wanted to say next.
"It's been a while since I came here last. I'm sorry about that. I found one of your things yesterday," He held up the notebook he discovered that led to him coming here. "Your report on different tobacco ashes. I'll have you know; I read the whole bloody thing. So you can stop your complaining that no one reads your science. That's all I came here to say."
John waited and gave his conversational partner the time to respond, fully knowing that he would never get a response. But he had to do this every time. Start a conversation and slowly let the walls down in order for him to speak what he really wanted to say.
"Just so you know...I still miss you. And I still believe in you."
He brushed his free hand on the smooth surface of the stone before doing an about face and limping away. Three steps away, his phone rang.
He stopped and took the mobile out of his pocket. It was a text from an unknown number. He opened it. There were coordinates and then one sentence:
"Come at once if convenient."
John stared at it for a moment, his heart racing. He could feel it in his head and hear it in his ears. Did he ever tell anyone that he sent him that the first day they met, for the Study in Pink? Was that bit even on the blog?
The mobile vibrated in his hand. Another text.
"If inconvenient, come anyway."
A/N: Sorry this is short. This is like the opposite of the last chapter, haha. Emotional, short, and Sherlock. Basically, halfway through writing this, I realized I didn't want to attach this to something else because I feel like John deserves his own chapter with grief. Albeit a short one.
This was going to have him also going to the scene of the crime, but then I decided to save it for next chapter. You'll see why.