Spoilers: The Reichenbach Fall
Summary: post-Reichenbach reunion, references to ACD's The Adventures of the Empty House, and also the Granada (Jeremy Brett) version of the same story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock or any of its characters. All rights belong to their respective owners.
His Justice Cannot Sleep Forever
The ground shook as though it would split in half, the mountains were crumbling apart until they became canyons, and the world was in danger of spinning into the Sun. At least, that's how John Watson felt as he turned around from the bookshelf in his flat and the crippled old man who stood before him only moments ago suddenly morphed into the image of the greatest friend he ever knew. That's when the Earth must have finally broke free of its orbit, because he was now flat on the floor, peering at the ceiling through a blurry haze.
"John?" said Sherlock, kneeling over the doctor, a worried expression on his face. "Are you all right? I didn't intend to shock you."
But John didn't acknowledge the statement-bordering-on-apology. "Sherlock?" he gasped, reaching out to grab Sherlock's arm, to feel its weight, to prove he was truly there. "How can it be?"
"It's a long story," Sherlock said. "Too long to tell the whole thing comfortably from our current positions." He then moved back to his feet and extended his arms to help John up as well.
John stood still, not taking his eyes off of Sherlock, who was currently pacing the room and rubbing the back of his head with his hand, an act John had witnessed often, but not in so long that actually seeing it again almost made him want to break down and cry.
"I saw you... You were dead," John said, his wits finally returning, though there was a slight quivering in his voice. "How did you survive? What have you been doing?"
These questions caused Sherlock to pause in his tracks and face his friend. "There's still work to be done. Will you accompany me?"
"Of course," said John. "Anywhere." And he couldn't help adding, "Just don't disappear on me."
Sherlock's eyes suddenly became very sad. "I shouldn't have doubted you'd accept. I'm aware I owe you an explanation." He took in a long breath before continuing. "I did indeed jump, but I faked my actual demise in order to stop Moriarty's plans from reaching their intended conclusions. I've spent my entire time trekking the globe, hunting down the remainder of his syndicate, some of the deadliest men and women who have ever walked this earth. And now I am down to just one. He has led me right back here to London, and I cannot help but feel there is some poetry to that detail."
There was then a slight quirk to his lips, and that made John want to smile as well. John listened with rapt attention, soaking in the presence of Sherlock: his stance, his gesticulations, and, most of all, the sound of his voice.
"I cannot impart strongly enough how important it is to catch this man," Sherlock continued. "If not, then all of my actions have been for nothing, and it would not have mattered had I actually plunged to my death that day."
John stared into his friend's eyes. "It matters to me," he said softly.
Sherlock wore the look of an apology, but said nothing, and, instead, moved away to view out the nearby window. After a moment, he spoke again. "I'm tired, John," he said. He turned his head, and John saw the exhaustion written all over Sherlock's face. John was well aware that he never slept during an investigation, and these many months comprised of the most difficult case on which the consulting detective had ever worked.
"My bed is in the next room," John offered. "Why don't you take a nap?"
"No," said Sherlock. "There's still too much to do. I can finish this once and for all." Nevertheless, he walked over to the nearby sofa and sat down upon it. "Do you still have your old army service revolver?" he asked.
"Certainly," said John. "It's in my nightstand." He then went to go and fetch it.
John returned to the sitting room only moments later carrying his revolver. "Sherlock, I-" he began, but stopped when he gazed towards the sofa to find that Sherlock had fallen asleep where he lay, undoubtedly exhausted by his overwhelming revelation and reunion with his best friend. John carefully placed his revolver down on a nearby table and moved over to Sherlock, reaching out to grab the throw from the back of the sofa to place over him. John then sat down in his armchair and watched over the consulting detective, who was currently dead to the world, and John was glad that was just an expression.