Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock

*Spoilers forThe Final Problem*


Returning to 221 B Baker Street was one of the hardest things John Watson ever had to do. Though it was hardly the same place—what with the neat stacks of boxes in place of the at-home forensics lab and the stale smell of disuse hanging in the air—John still half expected to see Sherlock staring at the ceiling from the couch, or crouching on the chair with John's confiscated laptop before him, or gazing out the window with his hands folded behind him and his brain far afield. But there was nothing. Emptiness.

He'd prepared himself for what he'd find at the flat. He was ready to confront the memories that would surface on seeing the microscope, the skull, and worst, the violin. What he hadn't been set for was the hole, the absence. He had expected to be hurt by what he found in the flat, but what he didn't find hurt so much more. Once again, he was flooded with emotion—raw and bitter.

Which is perhaps why he took it so badly when Sgt. Donovan walked in.

John didn't take the time to wonder how she got in or why she was there.

"Out," his voice came in a whisper. He cleared his throat, "You just… clear out. Stay away from here."

"I know you hate me," Donovan said, stepping further into the room, "And I'm sorry for that. You're a good man. You didn't deserve this."

"Why are you here?" John ground out through his clenched jaw.

Donovan stepped forward, looking at John earnestly. "You understand now, don't you?" she said, "You see what he was, why he had to be stopped. I told you when he first met—"

"Right, yes," John laughed humorlessly, "You knew all along, figured it out before any of us. Bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, wasn't it?"

"We had evidence," Donovan insisted, "We had a witness—"

"And isn't it convenient how all those little pieces fell together at the same time?" John shrugged, "You had everything you needed for an arrest. You were so certain that you didn't even bother talking to the people who lived with your suspect. Don't you think Mrs. Hudson and I would have noticed if Sherlock was running around committing crimes all the time?"

The sergeant shook her head sadly, "You didn't want to see it. You were too emotionally involved."

"Was I?" John snorted, "Well, I guess there's a lot of that going round."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

John paused, tilting his head. "You hated Sherlock. Called him a freak, chased people away from him. That's more than just hating the way he treated people, that's resentment. That's personal."

"You don't know what you're talking about," Donovan turned away, headed for the door, but John was on here heels.

"No? Then why come back here? It wasn't to see me, you couldn't've known I was here, so you know what I think? I think this isn't your first time back here, I think you're coming back to remember what it was like to watch Sherlock crash and burn, I think you get off on it."

Donovan whirled to face him at the top of the stairs. "Right, well, you're so clever, tell me what possible reason I could hating Sherlock Holmes so much?"

"I think he replaced you," John looked and sounded at cold as his dead flatmate, "I think you were once the smart one, the one who thought outside the box. Lestrade's favorite. Then, Sherlock came along, and you became just another idiot. Your precious police force was embarrassed, your boss was insulted, and you got to watch it all from the sidelines while everybody talked about how amazing Sherlock was. You envied him."

"Well, I can see there's no changing your mind," Donovan threw her hands up and started down the stairs, "If you've decided to believe in that psychopath, I can't stop you."

"Good job you were so focused on Sherlock," John's voice drifted down the stairs after her, "I would've been in trouble otherwise."

She paused at the door, "What?" she said, looking up at him.

"You know I'm not an idiot," he said seriously, "If Sherlock was setting up murders and planting bombs and kidnapping children, I would've known. At best, I covered for one of the worst pieces of filth humanity has ever seen. At worst, I helped him."

Donovan stared, mouth falling slightly open.

"Don't come back here, Sgt. Donovan, and don't you dare say again that I'm a good man. Because if Sherlock Holmes wasn't, I'm certainly not." With that, John Watson turned and went back into the flat, leaving a very unsettled police sergeant behind him.