Epilogue:

February 6th, 2011 - London, England:

Greg sends the text, but expects he won't hear from Sherlock until things become more interesting.

Since he returned, Sherlock has only helped with one case, and that had been little more than him seeing the news reports and calling Lestrade to let him know all the details his team had missed that Sherlock could see right there from his couch. John says Sherlock is having some issues adjusting to the relationship, that the threats Moriarty had made had affected him more than he was willing to let on. Lestrade didn't quite know what that meant.

"Freak's here," Sally mutters, walking past him and towards the victim's mother. And as she moves further away Greg hears, "Should have known he'd show back up eventually."

Anderson, standing sentinel near the body, is scowling. Greg looks over and sees Sherlock walking towards the crime scene, John calmly keeping pace behind him. John catches Greg's eye and gives a little wave in greeting. Sherlock, of course, ignores everyone and goes straight to the body.

Anderson wisely steps away, taking refuge behind John. Lestrade goes over to them, not bothering to address Sherlock, who is currently sniffing the victim's hair.

"Didn't expect to get you out for this one," he says.

John winces, then smiles. "We needed the fresh air."

"Shoulder still hurting?" Greg asks, concerned. The night air is cold; it can't be good for John's newest scar.

John is watching Sherlock count steps from the body to the rubbage bin. "What? Oh, no. It feels quite fine, actually. They did a neat job of patching it up." He rubs his neck in obvious embarrassment.

And that's when Greg sees them. A series of bruises, love bites, on John's neck. The jumper and coat he's wearing only barely cover some of them. Greg blinks, looks to Sherlock, then back and John, and finds himself blinking again.

John seems to realize what he's doing, what he's showing. He goes red in the face and tugs his jacket collar up. But it's too late. Lestrade is not the only one to have seen.

"My god. Did he lose it and actually hurt you? Lestrade, do you see this?" Sally pushes into John's space, reaching for his collar.

"Donovan, leave off," Greg tries to warn.

She manages to pull John's jumper and coat down on his shoulder to reveal bruises all over his collarbone. John pulls away with a half strangled shout, Sally begins lecturing about assault and arrests, and the whole bloody thing might have been funny if Greg hadn't caught sight of Sherlock just then.

Sherlock is done with his inspection and observation. He's bearing down on the four of them with a thunderous expression on his face, fists balled at his sides. Greg honestly isn't sure that he won't hit Sally. And suddenly he can see exactly what John had been speaking about. Sherlock Holmes had never been particularly adept at sharing, after all.

"John," he tries to warn. And he is very lucky that John Watson is so attuned to danger that the tone in his voice is enough to give him fair warning.

John spins in an about face, hands coming up in front of him just in time to slam into Sherlock's chest and stop him dead in his tracks.

"No. Sherlock, we discussed this." John grabs handfuls of Sherlock's shirt to hold him in place.

"What the bloody hell is wrong with him now?" Sally exclaims. "Do you see his neck?"

Suddenly this whole thing seems to be heading into disastrous territory. Greg grabs Sally's arm, intending to pull her away, but Sherlock's snarling answer to her question stops them all.

"I don't see how my leaving love bites on my partner's neck is any of your concern, Sergeant."

Sally sputters; Anderson goes pale and still.

"Well, that's coming out for you. Couldn't do it quietly, could you?" Greg says, grinning. Because, really, all this is quite hilarious now that John has Sherlock in hand, literally.

"You're shagging?" Anderson sounds horrified. "But he's... I mean... he doesn't."

John sighs, still watching Sherlock. "Oh, I assure you he does. And does it quite well, not that it's any of your business."

"So you and the-"

"Alright, alright," Greg interrupts. "Last I checked there was a dead victim and his very living mother to be dealt with. Anyone who would like to keep their current positions ought to consider getting back to that."

Sally and Anderson leave, but they keep looking back in disbelief.

"I'm guessing this is what you meant, then?" He asks John, feeling like a third wheel and knowing neither Sherlock nor John cared enough to even notice he's there.

"You'd think I was the one off playing dead for months," John snaps. Sherlock winces as if struck. "We can't keep avoiding cases. Or the shops. Or leaving the bloody flat, Sherlock. You said you were okay. If you'd just admit that this whole ordeal has-"

"If you say I'm traumatized one more time I won't lay another finger on you, no matter how you beg."

John snorts. "That's crap. You're worse than a teenager."

"And that's my cue to go." Greg backs away slowly. "Sherlock, when you're done can you come tell me what you've figured out?"

"It was the step-father, and this isn't the first time. How do you keep your job?"

"Sherlock. Pay attention," John snaps.

"I am. I am perfectly fine. I'm certainly not suffering PTSD! There was no reason for her to manhandle you. You can't expect me to tolerate that!"

"I absolutely can!"

Greg rejoins the force, ignoring the look on Sally and Anderson's faces. "They'll, uh, be back over in a moment. Why don't we start bagging up evidence."

They take more than a moment. In fact, after fifteen minutes pass he goes to find them. And find them he does. Between the buildings, John is pressing Sherlock up against the brick, mouths locked, one leg thrust between Sherlock's thighs, and- Christ. And that's a bit more than he ever needed to see.

He takes a quick picture though. Always good to have, just in case.