Author's Notes: Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at /works/350439 around March. Finally decided to post it here.

Disclaimer: Just playing in BBC's sandbox, and with Sir Arthur's characters. My take on Sherlock's return.

It was the first time John Watson has ever fainted.

He did not faint when he got his first cadaver.

He did not faint when he saw the world explode around him in war, watched a friend die and he had to turn on his Hippocratic oath and shoot someone and watch him die

He did not faint when he got shot. He was going to stitch himself up if the rescue didn't arrive.

He had never fainted in his life. Ever.

Not even when Sherlock Holmes died.

John didn't faint. He moved on to honour his memory, like he did all his friends who died in the war.

The techie had shouldered his way into the flat, rambling about house calls and broken laptops and fixing them.

John's laptop was broken, but he never called anyone for it. This raised a million red flags in his head, and after the incident with Moriarty John was never going to take any chances again.

His left hand thumbed the trigger of the gun in his back, and his right already mashed Greg's number on speed dial.

"Get out." John said in quiet warning. The techie stared at him wide-eyed, and John blinked at the familiar looking blue eyes that stared back at him. He thought nothing of it, however, and simply walked towards the door, all the while keeping the techie within his sight. "Get out. I never called anyone."

"But somebody did and - "

"No." John said, and he cocked his head towards the door. "Out."

The techie recognized the powerful command and underlying threat of the words and he scrambled out.

John shook his head, and closed the door. He phoned Greg to tell him that everything was fine.

He heard the door click open again, and John turned.

"I seem to have left my tool bag."

Sherlock Holmes stood there with a smile.

It was the first time John Watson has ever fainted.

John woke up to smelling salts and those familiar blue eyes.

He thought he was seeing ghosts. His assumptions were proven wrong when he instinctively lashed an arm out to punch the face in front of him and was rewarded with a crunch of the nose cartilage.

He wasn't dreaming.

"John!" Sherlock reeled back in shock. John tossed him a nearby shirt, and Sherlock pressed it gratefully against his bleeding nose.

"Sorry." John grinned. "It's really you, isn't it? You're really alive?"

Sherlock rolled his eyes, and mumbled. "Obviously."

John laughed. "Let me get you some ice for that."

"Thank you." Sherlock turned to him, his expressive eyes apologetic. "I deserved that."

"Yes. Yes you did." The light of John's grin reached his eyes . "I'm just glad you're back, Sherlock."

"So am I."