Ah... I dunno what I'm meant to say for this one actually... Kinda explains itself...

I don't own Sherlock.

It didn't take much to remind John of a certain Consulting Detective these days. Anything could send him off into a haze of memories and remembering Sherlock. But some things, some things had more of an effect than others…


The first time John was reminded of Sherlock, was only three days after his death. John had completely refused to leave the apartment until Mrs Hudson threatened to call Lestrade to kick him out and lock the door behind him until he got some fresh air. He knew she wasn't joking either. So with almost non-existent enthusiasm, John walked down the street and straight into the pub. It hadn't taken long for John to get himself a little bit tipsy, so with a glance at the clock to see how long he'd been gone (three hours. That should be enough for Mrs Hudson) he heaved himself up off his barstool, and headed back in the direction of Baker Street. He was just about to turn onto Baker Street when a familiar sound cut into his alcohol clouded brain.

The sound of a violin.

John hadn't heard that sound since before Sherlock died, he closed his eyes against the onslaught of memories. Sherlock standing next to the window, playing whatever notes came to mind, creating beautiful music no matter what he played. Waking up at three in the morning to Sherlock playing a classical piece, composed a man whose name was too long to remember. Sherlock would always correct him when he said it wrong, even though they both knew he was saying it wrong on purpose. When Sherlock had tried to teach John how to play the violin, but John of course, failed miserably, and ended up just watching Sherlock play. Sherlock playing a slow, peaceful piece when he had nightmares and couldn't get back to sleep…

John could feel the burning of tears beneath his lids, but he would not cry. He was a soldier. He'd make it through. Even if trying to make it through almost killed him.

John opened his eyes and sniffed, pushing all the painful memories to the back of his mind, and followed the beautiful, painfully familiar sound. It led him to a street corner where a busker was playing. There was a small crowd around him, but mostly people just threw some money into his violin case as they walked passed, hurrying to do whatever it was they had to do. John didn't have anything to hurry to. He walked over to the busker, tossed in all the left over money he had, which to his surprise totalled about twenty pounds, and watched the busker play until night fell.


The second time was six months, three weeks and two days after Sherlock's death. Yes, John had been counting. According to his therapist, (yes, he'd gone back. He knew as soon as his limp came back that he would have to) it was completely normal to have a reaction that would cause him to count the time that has passed. Although he thought it was a load of bull, he did feel slightly better knowing that it was normal.

He had been clothes shopping. All his old clothes currently smelt like onions mixed with a bit of some sort of acid, due to both John and Mrs Hudson failing to find Sherlock's last experiment until it went off and caused everything in Baker Street to stink. But it wasn't the experiment that reminded John of Sherlock, no, he'd found too many of those to count in weird and wonderful places since Sherlock's death, but what he saw when he was clothes shopping, not really sure what he was looking for, that made him just about collapse with emotion in the nearest chair.

It was Sherlock's coat. Well, not his coat, obviously, but an almost exact replica. In fact, John was tempted to subtly check to see if the tear on the inside that Sherlock had gotten in his coat on one of their cases (involving swords) was there. Logically he knew it wouldn't be, but it looked so similar John almost wanted to buy it just so he could… Pretend.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. On the count of three, he was going to stand up, and walk away from the coat. One… Two… Three… John opened his eyes and the coat glared back at him. He couldn't seem to get his legs to move away from the reminder of his best friend. So he sighed and gave into the memories that he was trying to hold back.

Sherlock had loved that coat, and John had come to love it just as much. It was just so… Sherlock. He'd only ever worn it once though, which had surprised him. Not the fact that he'd only worn it once, but that he'd worn it at all. They were staking out an abandoned warehouse, it was eleven o'clock at night and John only had a t-shirt and jeans on. Needless to say, he was freezing.

"John. What's wrong?" Sherlock asked, not taking his eyes off of the man that had just entered the warehouse.

"I'm c-c-cold Sherlock. You didn't exactly g-give me a chance to grab a j-jumper." John replied through chattering teeth. He was rubbing his hands up and down his arms in an attempt to get warm and jumping a little on the spot, but nothing was working. He was going to freeze to death and it would be all Sherlock's fault.

Sherlock looked over at him, slid out of his coat and held it out to him. "Here."

"Really?" John asked.

"Take it John, before I have to make you."

"Okay okay…" John, although briefly tempted to try and find out how Sherlock would make him, took the coat and pushed his arms through the armholes, relishing the warmth it gave him.

The coat was much too long on John, he could remember. Where it came down to Sherlock's knees, on John it was full length. Down to his feet. And while it fitted Sherlock perfectly in every aspect, John felt as though he was swimming in it.

It was actually surprising how warm it was. If someone were to glance at Sherlock, they wouldn't think he would really produce that much body heat. Even John thought his body temperature was lower than normal. But his rising body temperature would obviously be evidence against that.

Sometimes, John could still smell the scent that was so uniquely Sherlock; it was as if he was still wrapped in his coat. That was when John decided.

He took a breath and walked into the store. To hell with saving money, he was going to buy that coat… Even if it was just so that on his worse days, he could pretend the coat belonged to his best friend, and maybe he could fool himself, just for a little while.


Time number three was one year, one week and six days after Sherlock's death. John was in the park, the one that he and Sherlock always used to go to when they were forced out of Baker Street, usually due to Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, hiding from Mycroft or Sherlock's experiment going wrong. But it wasn't like they ever really wanted to go anywhere else. The park was full of deductions for Sherlock to make, and peaceful enough that John didn't mind sitting there listening to Sherlock ramble on about how the jogger was having an affair.

It was more out of habit than anything when he left that afternoon, when Lestrade had tried to convince him to go for a beer. John knew that Lestrade was struggling too, that he was only trying to help, but John just needed to muddle through Sherlock's death on his own. Everyone kept trying to tell him it was time to move on, move Sherlock's things out of Baker Street, and find a new flat mate. But John didn't want a new flat mate, he didn't want to move Sherlock's things and most of all, he didn't want to move on.

John was staring at a bird in the unusually sunny sky, he wasn't really watching it, he was more just looking in the direction the bird happened to be, when out of the corner of his eyes he spotted black curls. They were almost identical to…

No. He would never see those curls again.

John looked away again, only to find that the hairs on the back of his neck where standing up, as though he was being watched. Old habits die hard. He spun around, to where he was looking before, only to find a man with curly black hair, leaning against a tree reading a book. John sighed; he had his hopes up for a second. He had thought that maybe…

But then he remembered it all, in excruciating detail. And all his hopes were crushed. Suddenly, the man leaning against the tree, who looked a little bit like his lost friend, was just another man in the park, and John was just as lost as before.


The fourth time, would you believe it, came in the form of Mycroft. Mycroft bloody Holmes. One year and six months after Sherlock's death, his brother decided to visit John. It was the first time John had seen the eldest Holmes brother… The only one left now… Since the funeral. John had been watching boring telly, some fashion show or something, when Mycroft had knocked at the door. Of course, John hadn't known it was him, or he probably never would have opened the door. It wasn't that he didn't like Mycroft (ok, it was that a little bit, but not as much as you'd think) it was just that since Sherlock's death, John had started to realise just how alike the brothers really were. Well, apart from the obvious things… The looks… Mycroft running the government, Sherlock thinking that it was boring… But when it came right down to it, they were alike. Maybe that was why they fought so much, or maybe it was just John hoping to see something that wasn't really there. But whatever it was, it didn't explain why, when John had finally gotten himself up and limped over to the door, Mycroft Holmes was standing on the other side of221B's door, with a look that made John think just being there was causing him physical pain.

"Mycroft." John greeted him in a clipped tone. John noted sadly that that it was the same tone he used when the younger Holmes was being particularly annoying…

"Doctor Watson, I just came to collect my brother's belongings. I assume you've sorted them?" Mycroft asked in a tone that clearly indicated he knew John certainly hadn't done that. He'd tried, of course he'd tried, but he'd just never been able to complete the job. It was too painful. It would mean for sure that Sherlock wasn't coming back. That he was giving up on him.

And John couldn't do that. No matter what, he could never give up on Sherlock Holmes.

"No. I haven't. That a problem?"

Mycroft smiled. "Not at all. I'll just sort through it myself shall I?" He invited himself in, even though John tried to block the door. Another thing both Holmes had was that both were much taller than John and less aware of personal boundaries than usual people. Which could be what caused John to hear 'punch me in the face' while around them. It used to be less with Sherlock than Mycroft, but it was definitely there.

"Sure come right in…" John muttered as Mycroft did just that, only without his sarcastic permission.

Mycroft walked into Sherlock's room as if he knew exactly where everything he wanted was. But to John's great surprise, he walked right past his brother's prize possession; his violin. A couple of minutes later, Mycroft seemed to have finished his sweep, walking towards the door with only a small box of Sherlock's possessions. "You, ah… You forgot his violin." John said, nodding to where the violin was. The same place Sherlock had left it…

Mycroft just kept walking. "No I didn't."

John frowned. "What d'you mean. Sherlock loved that violin. Why wouldn't you want to take it?"

Mycroft sighed as if he was already sick of the conversation. It was the same sigh Sherlock used to give him (and everyone else) when he was about to insult them and then tell them how he deduced something, John remembered sadly. "He wanted you to have it, John. And as much as my brother chooses to believe otherwise, I did care for him, and I will respect his final wishes, the one and only being that you inherit his violin." Mycroft picked up his umbrella from next to the door, and while staring at the tip of it, spoke again. "You spent enough time around Sherlock to be able to deduce some of the more… Obvious things. My brother left you the most precious item he possessed. What do you deduce from that Doctor Watson?"

Mycroft turned again, and tried to make another quick exit, only to be stopped by John's voice once again. "You're a lot like him, you know." John said, "Or… Y'know… How he was..."

"We were both aware of that fact, John. More than we liked to admit." And as Mycroft finally walked away from 221B uninterrupted, John could have sworn he saw a small, sad smile on his face.


The fifth time, and quite possibly the most painful emotionally, but more to the point, physically for John, was on the eve of Sherlock's three year anniversary. Lestrade had called John to the Yard to discuss plans for Sherlock's anniversary, to see if there was anything he particularly wanted to do. If John was being honest, all he really wanted to do was crawl up in a ball and cry. Although he would never tell anyone, that's what he did more often than not when Sherlock's anniversary was coming up. This year though, he had managed to limit himself to that date only. Once a year. John had been waiting outside Lestrade's office when he heard it. He recognised the voice, even though it had been almost three years since he heard it last.

John felt as though his heart fell through the floor as the Chief Super Intendant walked out of Lestrade's office. He tried to just be another person waiting around, but unfortunately, people seem to remember the faces of the ones that punch them in the face, and he walked over to where John was. John looked up at him and waited for him to speak, when he did, John was overcome with the need to punch him again. "You're that Holmes fella's partner, aren't you?"

John looked over to Lestrade, as if asking what he wanted him to do. Lestrade just shrugged.

John stood up. "I was." He replied, his voice icy cold. He was acutely aware of the eyes of at least a dozen people on him, waiting for him to snap, but he kept eye contact with the man in front of him.

"You finally dump him did you? For the better I think, he seemed a bit loony, fake or not." Sherlock had been cleared almost two and a half years ago, and this guy was still thinking he was crazy. John wasn't going to let it go.

John went rigid. And all those emotions from three years ago rose back up. He heard Lestrade mutter 'you really shouldn't have said that sir' "No. He died. He died protecting his friends. Something I doubt you would understand."

"What's that supposed to mean?" The Chief Super Intendant (or The Chief Bastard, as John referred to him in his mind) asked, leaning in dangerously close to John's face. John supposed he was trying to look intimidating, and briefly wondered what would happen if he laughed in his face.

"It means Sherlock Holmes was a good man, no matter what you think of him, he was. The best I've ever met. He wasn't crazy or a loony or insane, he was my best friend, who died protecting me. And I don't think you know the meaning of friendship, so this is pointless." John said, trying to keep his voice even. This man would not get to him. He would not punch him. At least, not in the middle of Scotland Yard…

The man who had just made it to the top of John's most hated list (even above Anderson, who was holding steady at the annoying level) did something completely unexpected then. He laughed. "Doctor Watson, Holmes was a sociopath. Sociopaths do not have friends. You were played, just like everyone else. Sherlock Holmes was nothing more than an excellent fraud."

John couldn't help it then. He gave in to the urge to punch him. The Super Intendant held his bleeding nose as everyone else watched on in shock. John turned to Lestrade, "Going to arrest me?"

Lestrade shook his head. "From what I saw, that was self-defence. Completely justified," he replied, and John could hear the amusement he was struggling to keep out of his voice.

John nodded and walked past the still shocked Donavon and Anderson, then stopped and turned back to Lestrade. "I'll see you at the pub, around seven? I think I'll need a drink."

Lestrade just nodded in response and turned to the crowd that had gathered, completely ignoring the victim of John's punch. "Alright you lot, back to work!" Then, finally to the Super Intendant, "You got a bit of blood on your tie there…" And walked back into his office.

John knew he was going to cop it for that little stunt later, but at that moment he didn't care, because when it came down to it, Sherlock was and always would be his best friend. And best friends do anything for each other, in life and in death.

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