It started out small enough. A whisper on the lips of a passerby who probably recognized him, muttering something he could barely hear.
He had been living with Harriet for a week when it began to surface. Walking out one morning, he stood at the corner waiting for the light when he looked up. Something passed over head and he looked up. It was a helicopter flying off to who knew where, but when his eyes came back down they landed on the pole next to him. A plain white piece of paper at eye level read- in plain stenciled black letters-
Believe in Sherlock Holmes.
John stood there as the signal changed to go and back to stop.
A grin suddenly broke out on his face and he laughed. Someone was adorable, printing it out and posting it; one lone person, probably wandering the streets with their flyers. This first one was labeled by his mind as cute and he walked on, not giving it anymore thought.
Then he was getting on the tube to go out with Stamford and he saw it spray painted across the wall of the station. It came in all sorts of shapes and colors, showing up everywhere from billboards to bathroom stalls.
James Moriarty was real,
Richard Brook is a fake,
Believe in Sherlock.
John was staring at one that was painted on the side of a two story building, never had he seen anything more beautiful. It had Sherlock's hat hanging from the B in believe. It was really a work of art and the calligraphy was astounding. Big capital letters showed the world: I BELIEVE IN SHERLOCK HOLMES. The world was not as stupid as Sherlock wanted to believe.
"They're calling it John Watson's War."
John jumped, turning to find the elder Holmes brother skulking out of the darkness. He regained his calm and looked back up at it. He laughed a bit then, "Moriarty planted the seed of doubt. I was just doing the same."
Mycroft sighed. "There was no proof beyond the story. No way of knowing if he was true or not." The older man looked up at the building, "Except for those of us who know better."
"And a supposed professional said I had trust issues." John turned to Mycroft fully, shaking his head. "I suppose me and him were alike. I never had someone worth trusting, he never had someone worth caring about." The ice in his stare did not go unnoticed.
Mycroft leaned a bit more on his umbrella. "I've been trying my best to defend him."
"It's a bit late to start that. Better late than never, though." John pulled out a can of spray paint he had been hiding in his coat. Shaking it quickly, he added his initials to the work that towered above them. Mycroft gapped at him.
"It's my seal of approval. More keep cropping up and I just can't get to them all." John held the can out to Mycroft. He scowled but John didn't falter. "Least you could do."
Mycroft sighed, grabbing the can and adding a quick MH to the lettering. "There." He looked up at the building again. "I believe in my brother. I always have… He was always the better man." When John just stared at him Mycroft turned away. "I was ambitious; he just wanted to help find the truth. After a while though, helping became meddling and when everyone around you calls you a freak-"
"You start to believe it." John took his can back.
"I did love my brother, John. I failed him. But I have faith that you and your warriors will bring him justice." With that Mycroft walked down the street toward the corner. John looked back up at the building still in awe. People believed in Sherlock. Maybe, just maybe, he could believe a little longer that he would come back.