I am but a scholar. I own nothing, least of all Sherlock who belongs to Moffat and Gatiss and ASD. I've just borrowed them for a bit.

Seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. John Watson finds time passes without him even thinking about it. He used to measure it in drawn out all night cases, very early morning Chinese food, and the sound of the violin in the wee hours. Now, he tries to forget. Days still pass. Time marches on.

He wakes on a Sunday, not thinking anything of the day, if it had any significance. He has tea with Mrs. Hudson. He reads the paper. Mostly he waits. Nothing happens to him. Not since . . . .

For some reason he finds himself leaving the flat and just walking. He does this more often than not now. Escaping into the sounds of the city, the battlefield that resides in front of him. He doesn't recognize it, but then he doesn't really recognize himself anymore either.

Somehow he ends up attending Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary. He doesn't believe anymore, not since Afghanistan, and especially not since Sherlock . . . . He manages to stop his thoughts there. He doesn't want to cry here, not now. Not that he has many more tears to shed. He feels all his tears have dried up, but he knows that isn't true.

He follows along, not realizing that the words to some of the responses have changed. "When did that happen," he thinks to himself. He realizes it doesn't matter; he won't be coming back after this- he doesn't even know how he found himself here. Subconsciously he knows it is because he craves some normalcy, routine, and ritual that has been lacking since that . . . day. Sherlock would laugh at him for his sentiment. He shuts his eyes to try to black out the thoughts of blood on the pavement, focusing on the choirs repetitive and meditative song.

He makes his way up for Communion with the masses, not even thinking about his actions; he wasn't even thinking of going up, he just found himself falling into place. When he comes back to the pew with the stale taste of wafer in his mouth, he finds himself kneeling and praying for one more miracle, for Sherlock to not be dead. He prays that he will do anything just to have his friend back with him. He has to breathe deeply at this point before he suffocates under his endless grief. He sits back in the pew and wipes the tears from his eyes; tears he hadn't realized he had shed. No one notices.

Once the concluding hymn has been sung John practically leaps out of the pew to get out. The cloying incense and flowers are too much for him, his heart is hammering in his chest and he isn't sure why. As he exits the church he makes one farewell glance at Christ on the cross.

Forty minutes later he lets himself back into 221B, tossing his jacket on the couch as he walks in. It takes him a moment to notice what is different in the flat, because until recently, it wasn't different. Sherlock is standing in front of the window, with his violin, and he begins to play Ode to Joy.

And John smiles a real smile for the first time in months and whispers his thanks.