Disclaimer: I do not own, nor profit from.
Author's Note: This is the final chapter! I sat there and cried when I pressed save for the final time. It was like your child growing up and leaving home. I quickly had to start on something else. This chapter is only an epilogue, so it ties up all loose ends. Again, last time I can say I am open to prompts! Thank you everyone who has read this story, YOU ARE ALL FANTASTIC! Thanks for all the reviews, the story alerts and story favourites, they made me really happy! I will be putting up a new story in the next week called "My Heart Lies Next To Yours", which is Avenger Themed. So, thank you again, and for the last time, enjoy!
Sherlock stuck his hand into the box of cold case files. Lestrade had rung him up this morning, complaining that the boxes were gathering dust. Sherlock glanced at the date. 1987. Of course there would be dust. What was Scotland Yard coming to?
Lestrade didn't even need him to work on the cold cases. Most were too simple, some too elaborate, none interesting enough. Lestrade may have rung him in a fit of loneliness. When it transpired that Mycroft had had a hand in the "quest" Moriarty had laid for Sherlock and John, Lestrade just packed his bags and left without a word.
It's always the quiet ones you have to watch out for. He had been told that on countless occasions.
Lestrade had temporarily moved into 221B, echoes of John and his grief only a few months beforehand. He'd just gotten his own place, not far from Scotland Yard. Nice, easy.
Mycroft had tried to contact Sherlock. Sherlock continually ignored him. He had been sorely tempted to put his phone in the washing machine, watching it spinning to its doom, but it wasn't the phone's fault. Mycroft would just find out his new one anyway. With or without Lestrade.
Molly had turned up at the flat a couple of days ago. He'd gone to Tesco's – John had shouted at him to get the milk for once – and she was standing on the front doorstep.
"John could have let you in." Sherlock commented. Molly flushed, her eyes sad.
"I wanted to wait for you." Sherlock gave a small quirk of the lips. It seems that everyone wanted to speak to him now. Never John.
John called down the stairs now, unintelligible over the sound of the water rushing in the shower.
"Pardon?" He heard the water quieten.
"I said, do you want Chinese tonight?" Sherlock grinned.
They were happy. They were dysfunctional. He knew that. But they loved each other anyway. They lived in their own little world, away from life, away from people, just them. They liked it that way.
Sherlock still has nightmares. He still watches John bleed out underneath his hands, whispering those last words "I love you", even if John didn't know it was him. He heard the screams of the sirens, mingled with his own, too late too late. He watched them load a body into the ambulance. Not a patient. He remembers the hospital, the stench of disinfectant, where they just realliterated what he already knew.
"As of 19.53 today, Dr. John Watson has been pronounced dead at scene."
He remembers the numbness, the sympathy. He hadn't wanted it. He hadn't wanted any of it. But John would have chided him for not being sociable. Not being understanding.
"Why should I be understanding? I'm the one whose lost someone!" John crossed his arms.
"I'm still here." Sherlock sighed dramatically.
"I know you are here. They don't know you are though." John smiled.
"I came back for you. Not for them." Sherlock wrapped his arms around the shorter man.
"I love you." He murmured into the shorter man's hair. John laughed into Sherlock's chest.
"I know you do." He leaned up for a kiss. "I know you do."
Sherlock smiled down at his partner. Yes, it was dysfunctional. Yes, he was dating someone that no-one else knew existed. But it was his life. It was his perfect, fucked up life.
And he didn't care.
He could live with John forever.
Because he believed in ghosts too.