Sherlock, where are you? Lestrade's getting impatient. Well, impatient-er. - JW
Sherlock? Seriously. You got in the cab before me. How come you're not here yet? - JW
Yes, cab. The one you wouldn't let me ride in again because I might talk? - JW
And where was I headed?
To the crime scene, Sherlock. Out by the old Murray place? The body those kids found. The 'Halloween Homicide' I'm thinking about calling it. - JW
67 Brighton Ave. Sherlock, are you okay? - JW
Any reason why I wouldn't be?
You're not lost or anything? I heard you give the cabbie the address as you got in...did you delete it already? - JW
You'll have to pay for the cab when I get there. I don't seem to have any money.
Every time, Sherlock. Every. Time. There's not room for a couple twenty pound notes in that jacket anywhere? - JW
"Good. You're here. Finally. Just a warning: Anderson's here again today. Lestrade is trying to run blocker, though. Just do your thing and we can get out of here."
"Sherlock, are you sure you're alright? You look kind of...I dunno, off. Anyways, looks like-Sherlock, are you bleeding?!"
"No-Yes you are! Turn your collar down, you idiot, I need to see."
Sherlock turned grudgingly and John examined his skull.
"It's coming from under your hair. HOW did you manage to get a head wound on a cab ride? Sherlock. You weren't in an accident, were you?"
"Did the cab look like it had been in an accident?" he retorted.
"Well knowing you, you just walked away and got another one. Lestrade? We've got a problem. We're going to need a paramedic. And
Sherlock, for goodness' sake, sit down!" John attempted to push the detective into a sitting position, but he was deceptively strong.
"I'm not sitting down, you obviously need me to work!"
"And for that I obviously need you alive and well. And until I get a good look at whatever it is you got done to yourself, you're not getting to that crime scene."
"I'm fine!" He waved a hand at John.
"I'll be the judge of that! We can't have you dying on us...Lestrade would have to explain why you were here in the first place, and well, he hates paperwork."
"Helping, obviously. Now stop that," Sherlock protested as John attempted to stem the bleeding with some cloth that had magically appeared.
"Alright, have it your way. Your lovely jacket will get stained, and you'll probably contaminate the crime scene, but what do I know?!"
"Well, look who it is!" Anderson sauntered over, looking smug. "The Sir Genius and his little page boy. Thanks for coming, but we've got this one about wrapped up and...oi! You think you're coming into my crime scene like that?! How're we supposed to tell whose blood is yours and whose is the victim's?!"
"Anderson shut up" Lestrade ordered. "He's not trying to bleed everywhere. Go and greet the paramedics."
"Seriously? You're really going to-"
"NOW!" Lestrade demanded.
Anderson returned soon with the paramedic, who was explaining,"I think he's gone already. There's really nothing I can do once the body gets... like that."
John overheard this."That bad? Lestrade wouldn't let me in until you got here, Sherlock, so I haven't actually been to the scene."
"No, not him. This one. The bleeding idiot over here who insists he's fine." Lestrade jerked his head toward Sherlock.
"Because I am!" Sherlock protested angrily.
John rolled his eyes. "He's obviously got a head wound, though he either won't tell me or can't remember how it happened."
Sherlock grumbled something unintelligible.
Anderson appeared again, walking back toward the crime scene. He glared at the gathered group as he passed, muttering something about wishing he could take credit for it.
"Anderson!" Lestrade bellowed. "Don't you have work to do?"
"What?" asked John at the same instant, looking at Sherlock.
"What?" Sherlock replied innocently.
The paramedic had recovered from his shock now, and was busy getting things out to check Sherlock, who was now scowling fiercely again.
"Sherlock, be good." John instructed firmly. Anderson lounged at a distance against a tree, watching the proceedings with a sadistic glee.
"Pupils are equal and reactive," the paramedic commented, shining a light in Sherlock's eyes as he glared at Anderson. "Any loss of consciousness?"
Sherlock was silent.
"Sherlock?" John prodded. "Did you pass out at all when...whatever just happened to you happened?" He looked up at the paramedic. "He left the flat before me, but showed up a little less than a half hour later. I don't know what happened during that time."
"It was something embarrassing, wasn't it?" Anderson asked, stepping forward again. "That's why you won't say. It's not that you've forgotten, it's because you know we'll laugh." He had on a wicked smile.
Lestrade clapped a hand on John's shoulder. "Can you handle this?" he asked, nodding towards Sherlock. "I've got a scene to contain." He glared at Anderson as he said this rather loudly. John nodded and Lestrade stormed off, and Anderson and Donovan, who had recently joined him, scattered like leaves in the wind.
John stepped a little closer to his friend as Lestrade retreated. "Is that true?" he asked. "Is Anderson right for once about something? Do you remember what happened?" Sherlock only looked at John
"Sir?..." the paramedic began hesitantly.
Sherlock snapped. "No, I have no clue what the hell happened. I don't even know your name or what I'm supposed to be doing here. Although I have figured out that Anderson is an idiot. Hardly difficult," he sniffed.
John felt like he had been slapped. How stupid was he? All this time Sherlock hadn't had a clue where he was or what he was supposed to be doing here, and John hadn't figured it out, leaving his friend to try to work everything out on his own.
The paramedic looked between them uncertainly. "D'you want me to... go?"
"Sherlock-" he began, but stopped. "Maybe I should get Lestrade again. I don't know..." He looked at the paramedic. "Uh, yes. Thank you. I'm a doctor, so I can take it from here. I'll make sure he goes to A&E if the bleeding continues or if he...doesn't remember." The last bit hit John hard. Sherlock couldn't remember. What if Sherlock NEVER remembered? What would he do? What would Sherlock do? This was his friend's work, what he lived for, what he loved. Without that...
John's musings were interrupted as Sherlock spoke.
"John. John Watson. I'm a doctor. An Army doctor, actually. I was in-"
"Afghanistan," he smirked.
The paramedic, busy packing up his things and pretending not to eavesdrop, stopped for a moment, glancing between them, then stood up quickly.
"Er... I'm off then. Hope you're better," he remarked to Sherlock, then walking away quickly, stealing glances over his shoulder.
John felt at once relieved and annoyed, though the second quickly faded into the first. He fought a smile. "Haven't forgot how to do that, then?" he asked, crossing his arms.
"Do what?" Sherlock looked puzzled.
John tossed his phone at Sherlock. There was silence for a moment as Sherlock studied it. Finally, Sherlock opened his mouth to speak, only to be cut off by John. "Sister," he said simply. And taking back his phone, he turned and walked away.
"John!" Sherlock shouted as he got up from where he was sitting, stumbling only slightly as he ran after him. "John! How do I do that? Why? Why am I here?" He looked confused still.
John turned and looked his best friend in the eye. No recognition lay there. John closed his eyes and sighed. "Your name is Sherlock Holmes. You have a brother called Mycroft who works for the government, but that's about all I know about your family. You are a brilliant scientist as well as a brilliant everything else, and you know everything about everything. Except for maybe popular culture, but we won't get into that now. You play the violin, get bored often, and you live at 221B Baker Street in London, with your flatmate and your landlady Mrs. Hudson."
Sherlock nodded thoughtfully. "My brother is insufferable isn't he?"
John looked up in surprise. "Yes. Your brother is quite annoying sometimes. How did you...you remember?"
Sherlock snorted. "No, but anyone with the name Mycroft has got to be."
John's heart fell, but he managed a smile. "Yes. Yes, I suppose so. Come on, let's go back to the flat. We're not going to be much help here tonight."
"I believe that's true for you, but from what I've gathered I'd be of enormous assistance."
John opened and closed his mouth several times. At least Sherlock's personality was intact, he thought, and that was, as much as he loathed to admit it, a good thing.
"Sherlock, in your state...it might be best to go rest up at home. And you might get, well, frustrated, trying to do this without your memory. And then there's Anderson."
Sherlock contemplated this for a moment, then nodded. "Are you always this insistent about my health?"
John was taken aback slightly, but did his best to mask it. "I am a doctor." He said, then added, "And also your friend."
"Hmm. Do I have many of those?"
"Friends? Yes, of course. There's me and Mycroft, as well as Mrs. Hudson. Sally is a bit like Anderson, but she doesn't hate you or anything. And Lestrade and Anderson you've met. They're...colleagues." John fumbled for a second. "Oh, and Molly! Molly is a friend."
Sherlock nodded, pondering this. "Well," he said finally. "Are you going to get us a cab? You told me where we reside but it seems to have slipped my mind." He frowned
After pausing to tell Lestrade that they weren't going to be able to help with the particular case ("He needs rest. Doctor's orders."), John hailed a cab.
"Where to?" asked the man behind the wheel.
"221B Baker Street." replied John. He frowned. It was less dramatic when he said it.
Lestrade was somewhat puzzled. First John had shown up at the crime scene without Sherlock, claiming he wouldn't share a cab, then John anxiously texted Sherlock, who showed up 30 minutes later with a head wound. And then it turned out he had no clue what happened. Lestrade frowned. It was all very odd. And then he had to deal with Anderson...
It was going to be a long day. Again.
Sherlock watched out the window of the cab intently. He knew vaguely where he was, and where he was going, but not specifics. Certainly not this man who was supposedly his friend, and not the landlady, Mrs Hudson. Interesting. Even more interesting was the complete absence of memories before John texted him, informing him he was supposed to be at a crime scene. He had been in a very odd spot too. Where was it?
He frowned. Too much stress on his brain so soon after being injured.
As the cab pulled away, the two men fell into silence as they often did. Well, as Sherlock often ordered. But this was not the comfortable silence John was used to sharing. Instead it was awkward, and for John at least, frightening. To Sherlock, John, his closest friend, was a stranger. A stranger who could be taking him anywhere, who could have made up Sherlock's whole life story to gain his trust. What if Sherlock realized this and panicked? As much as Sherlock seemed to avoid physical activity if at all possible, John had seen how naturally athletic the other man was, and John would lay his money on his friend if a fight were to break out between them. He snuck a glance over at the tall, lean man who occupied the seat next to him. He still looked like Sherlock, but did the same man he had known still exist?
Sherlock was pecking at his phone. Doing research. He had a blog. As did John. John seemed to enjoy writing about their 'adventures'. Gave them rather... interesting names. But none of them seemed very familiar. Or at all familiar to be honest.
"John," he said, suddenly interrupting the silence. "What's your middle name?"
John blinked. "Umm..." he said, shaking his head to clear it. "Hamish. John Hamish Watson." He paused. "Why?"
"Looking at your blog. Curious."
"Molly has a blog, too. She...doesn't use it anymore, though. There was a bit of an incident. A bad boyfriend experience, really."
Sherlock frowned. There was something... something niggling in the back of his mind about that. But what?
*back at the flat...*
Back at the flat, John decided to test Sherlock. Gesturing for the detective to sit in his own seat, John took Sherlock's.
"Do I normally sit here?"
John hesitated. "Yes," he said finally. "Why?"
"It doesn't... feel right." He glanced around for a couple of minutes, then looked up triumphantly. "Wrong! This is your chair."
John sighed. "Yes, sorry. I just wanted to see what you could remember. You recall sitting in this chair, then?" he asked hopefully.
Sherlock shook his head, then hesitated. "Maybe. I don't know. But this chair doesn't feel right. And I can tell it's yours from the location of the table. You're left handed, although somewhat ambidextrous, and the table location reflects that."
John, as he often did, fought for a comeback. "Yes, but...how do you know you're not left-handed and have just forgotten?"
Sherlock snorted. "Really John?"
John shrugged, then got up, struggling slightly. "Here. Have your seat, then."
Sherlock sat down carefully, testing it out. After a moment he declared "Much better."
Spotting the violin on the desk, he got up and examined it.
"Yeah, you play." John said. "Pretty well, too. You play for Mrs. Hudson and me sometimes."
"Do I play for you?" Sherlock asked, "Or do I just play and you happen to listen. Because there is a difference." He was gathering up facts about his life, like if perhaps he got enough they would make sense to him again.
He held the violin - his violin - up to his chin and began to play. This he remembered.
John blinked again. "Well, the second. I guess." He had never really considered it. A moment later he was shocked as Sherlock began to play, just as beautifully as he always did. This was a good sign.
"So," Sherlock began after playing a few quick pieces, "I assume you are the roommate with whom I share the flat."
John nodded. "Yes. I'm your flatmate. I moved in a while ago after I got back, from Afghanistan, as you've already figured out. Again. It was funny, actually. The landlady assumed that we were...well, together."
Sherlock nodded thoughtfully. "Does that happen often? People assuming we're together?" He paused for a moment, thinking. "Are we together?"
John started. "Yes. No! I mean, no. No we're not. In fact, I have a girlfriend. Well, I mean, had a girlfriend, but I..." He shook head and tried again. "No. No we're not together, but yes people think we are. A lot." He paused. "Actually, we don't really know if...well, if you..."
"If I'm gay?" Sherlock smiled. "Well, no offence, but I feel no attraction to you, but nor did I towards the female police officer. Donovan was it?" He shrugged, and wandered into the kitchen.
John sat silent for a moment in shock. Then, abruptly, he nodded and stood, following the other man into the kitchen. At least he knew Sherlock wasn't faking it. He has said 'no offence' after all!
Sherlock poked around in the cupboards, not really looking for anything so much as hoping something would look familiar. Nothing did until he opened the fridge and found the head smiling at him.
John realized about a second too late that Sherlock was reaching for the fridge. Grabbing the door, he slammed it shut again, barring Sherlock's way. "Umm...that. An experiment. Nobody we know. I don't think. Perhaps now isn't the best time to-"
"Experiment..." Sherlock said, slowly. "I was doing an experiment with it. Something..." he mused. He spun around to face John. "Do I keep notes?" he demanded.
"Yeah." John said, gesturing to the window. "Over there and here on the table. Also, on my desk and in your room I think. Everywhere, really."
Sherlock strode over, recognizing which desk was his immediately. He began digging through papers, making a rather large mess, much to John's dismay.
"Find anything?" John asked after a moment, partly out of interest and partly in hopes of stopping his flatmate from destroying the rest of the flat in his frantic search.
Sherlock, who was rapidly going through piles, discarding the vast majority of the papers, but stopping to read a few, shrugged John off as if he was a fly buzzing around his head.
After a while of this, he stopped suddenly and stared blankly at the wall.
"Sherlock?" John said hesitantly, concern evident on his features. He took several steps towards his friend, reaching out to touch his shoulder. "Are you okay?"
Sherlock swatted his hand away.
"Leave me alone John. Can't you see I'm... in...I'm..." he frowned, unsure of what exactly it was he was doing. "Thinking!?"
John refused to budge. Gathering his courage he began "Sherlock, I think...I think maybe you should go to A&E. You're not bleeding anymore, but I still think they should check, make sure you're going to be all right. And they can probably tell better than I can if-" He paused. "When you'll get your memory back."
Sherlock stomped his foot like a petulant child.
"No. Now tell me what it's called when I do that... thing." He gestured with his hands. "I make you leave for it." He sighed, obviously frustrated.
John looked confused. "You make me leave for a lot of things. Experiments? Thinking? Sometimes you make me leave when you're talking, so I won't be tempted to say anything in response." He shook his head. "And then there are all those times you go to your...mind palace or whatever, and-"
"Mind palace!" Sherlock interjected. "Mind palace..."
Yes. Sherlock smiled, liking the way the words tasted in his mouth, like they fit perfectly. Like they had been there before. Like they were right.
"Oh good." John said grumpily. "You remember 'mind palace', but not me. Yeah, thanks, Sherlock." But it gave him an idea. Perhaps he could appeal to Sherlock's ego, which still seemed to be intact. "Here," he said, striding over to the table and picking up a pile of newspapers. "Read about yourself. See how famous you are. The Great Sherlock Holmes. See if that strikes any familiar chords."
Sherlock waved a hand dismissively. "Already looked myself up online. No need."
A flash of brilliance crossed his face. He set off towards the kitchen and into the hall, peering though the first door he came to (bathroom) before ending up in his bedroom. He stood in the middle of it, spinning slowly, eyes flicking around as he absorbed everything.
John massaged his eyes with his thumb and forefinger and followed the other man down the hall, pausing at the doorway and leaning against the frame watching as Sherlock tried to maximize his memory. Or whatever. Finally he spoke. "Anything?"
"Looking for keys," Sherlock replied after a moment.
"Keys. Right." John had no idea what that meant, but had no intention of asking, instead choosing to wander off back down the hall, nearly running into the landlady in the process. "Mrs. Hudson!" he said. "Sorry, didn't hear you come in. Care for some tea? Sherlock's a bit...uhm...busy at the moment." Not wanting to worry the older woman, he steered her down the hall and toward the kitchen.
Twenty minutes later, as Mrs Hudson and John were finishing up their tea and biscuits, Sherlock strode out into the kitchen, stopping abruptly when he saw the old lady in his flat.
"John, why didn't you inform me we had company?" he asked stiffly.
John stood quickly. "Didn't want to interrupt." He said. "And I wasn't sure you were in a...fit state for visitors. If you get my meaning." He look pointedly at his flatmate.
"Oh Sherlock, what have you done now," Mrs Hudson tutted. "You've gotten your nice shirt a bit bloody. It may not come out if you don't wash it right away." She frowned. "What did you do dearie?"
Sherlock seemed to stop listening, and bee-lined straight for the couch, assuming the thinking position that he seemed to have not forgotten.
"Just a little accident, Mrs. Hudson, nothing to worry about. A shower and some rest and he should be fine. Though if you can convince him to let me take a closer look at his head, I'd be in your debt."
They looked at each other for a moment, both knowing that if Sherlock set his mind to something there was little possibility of convincing him otherwise.
John sighed, shrugging helplessly. "How about you hold him down, and I'll clean up the wound?"
Mrs Hudson planted her hands on her hips and glared at him. "Really doctor Watson?"
And with that he exited the apartment, leaving John standing there rather stunned and Sherlock oblivious on the couch.
"Joke, Mrs. Hudson!" John called after her, but he wasn't sure she heard. John sighed again and took a seat in his chair, picking up a newspaper that lay nearby. He flipped through it half-heartedly, not taking anything in. Finally, frustrated, he folded the paper up and tossed it aside, resting his forehead on his hands. "Sherlock, I...I'm sorry I haven't been more patient with you. I can't imagine how frightening this must be, not remembering who you are or what's happened to you or anything. I don't want you to feel pressured to remember everything right away. With any luck, it'll come with time. In the interim, though, I'm going to call Lestrade and let him know that you won't be able to help out for the next couple of days. Just take it easy, and I'll go find a job so Mrs. Hudson won't throw us out."
Sherlock didn't move or make any sort of acknowledgement that he had even heard John. He was just perfectly still, lost in his mind palace.
Perhaps lost wasn't the best choice of words to describe it though.
"Sherlock?" John prodded. "Are you even listen-no. No, of course you aren't. You never did before, so why would you listen to me now?" He stood and moved to enter the kitchen, intent on making a cup of tea to calm his nerves.
Sherlock got up abruptly, startling John.
"No, no, no, no!" he threw his hands up exasperatedly and they moved to cradle his head at the temples. After standing like this for a moment, rocking slightly, eyes closed, he turned to face John, calm once again.
"The doors in my mind palace are locked," he explained. "I need keys to open them!" he declared.
John looked exasperated. "I don't know, Sherlock. You've met nearly everybody, you're in your flat...I suppose we could go over to the morgue. You spend a lot of time there, and I'm sure Molly wold be willing to help you try to remember things, and to help...unlock whatever it is that's sealed off."
"Molly..." he mused. "You said she had a blog. Where is the morgue?"
"At Bart's." John replied. "Er-St Bartholomew. You use the lab and the morgue often for experiments and that sort of thing. And yes, Molly has a blog. Don't...visit it though. I think she's planning on taking it down, anyway."
Without a word, Sherlock strode quickly towards the door, only hesitating slightly to grab his coat and scarf off the rack.
He raced down the stairs and out to the street to summon a cab. John had to struggle to catch up.
"Bart's," he told the driver.
And they were off.
"This doesn't make you feel uncomfortable?" John asked as the the taxi trundled along. "The cab, I mean? There was an incident once involving a cabbie. Any of that ring a bell?"
Sherlock frowned. "I'm alive aren't I? And I did get in a cab alone this morning, so I assume what ever happened, I got over it."
"I guess..." John said uncertainly.
At that moment, the cab pulled up to Bart's, and the two men clambered out of the taxi, John pausing just long enough to pay the driver before following Sherlock inside.
Sherlock looked around uncertainly. Seeing this, John lead the way to the morgue.
Molly was there.
"Oh," she stammered, seeing them both come into the room. "I didn't know you were coming."
Sherlock nodded. "Molly I presume?"
Molly started, then laughed nervously. "Presume? Uhm, yes. Still Molly." Still smiling, her eyes flicked over to John, who stepped in to explain.
"Sherlock got himself in trouble this morning. Don't know what kind exactly, but he's got himself a lovely head wound and no memory. We were hoping you'd be able to spark something in his...mind palace." He gestured vaguely in Sherlock's direction.
Molly's smile faded immediately. "Me? What can I do? Is he okay? He'll be alright, won't he? I mean, he'll remember?"
Sherlock was wandering around the morgue, seemingly oblivious to the conversation that was taking place just near him. About him.
"Where's my lab?" he demanded.
Molly led Sherlock to his lab, and John followed a few paces behind. Molly was talking a mile a minute about mundane topics, which John knew would both bore and annoy Sherlock. "Well," she said eventually. "We're here." She tried for a smile, but didn't quite manage it. "I'll be back in the morgue if you need anything."
Sherlock managed a quick nod before becoming enthralled in the examination of what was essentially, part of his mind laid out in real life.
And hour and a half later, he returned to the morgue.
"Nothing useful," he announced. "Come John!" he called, already halfway to the door. "Back to Baker street."
John rolled his eyes at Sherlock's back, and Molly giggled. "He makes you sound like a puppy, doesn't he? 'Here, boy!'" John didn't look amused, and Molly quickly went back to her work as he left.
The cab ride was rather silent, except for the occasional comment from Sherlock like "Chocolate" and "sugar". John's only response to this was a nod, which was ignored by Sherlock anyway.
Back at Baker street, Sherlock bounded up the stairs, John right behind. A bit too close behind, as he ran into Sherlock as he stopped abruptly in the entrance to the flat.
There was a man.
"Sherlock," he smiled insincerely.
Sherlock forced John behind him.
"John. Who is this man? No. Don't tell me. An enemy of some sort. My arch enemy."
He examined him more closely. The man, who was holding an umbrella despite the fact that there wasn't a cloud in the sky, looked smug.
"This must be Mycroft," Sherlock commented to John, releasing him from his protective hold. "Definitely my arch enemy..." he trailed off and collapsed to his knees, holding his head.
John looked at Mycroft. Mycroft looked back at John, and sighed. "Flair for the dramatic," he said as John knelt beside his friend.
"Sherlock?" John asked quietly. "Do I need to call an ambulance? Or just Lestrade and a paramedic, maybe?"
Sherlock shook his head, which may have been in response to John, or perhaps something inside his mind. He only curled up in a ball, still clasping his head.
Mycroft looked on, mildly amused.
"Maybe you should go." John suggested to Mycroft tersely. "I can take it from here."
"As his brother and a member of the British government, I really think I ought to-"
"As his brother, you should want to do what is best for him. And at this moment that is to leave. And as a member of the British Government, the best thing you can do is also to leave, SIR."
"Minor position!" Sherlock screeched from inside his cocoon. "He claims it's a minor position."
He whimpered. "But it's not."
Then he was silent again.
Mycroft examined John Watson, likely calculating his options.
"Very well," he said slowly. "Good day."
John nodded up at Sherlock's brother as he made his ways stiffly from the flat. John settled down on the floor next to Sherlock. He was quiet for a moment. "You remember him, then?" he asked.
Sherlock only groaned.
"Stampede," he muttered.
"I'll be right back." John said firmly, then stood and disappeared into the bathroom, returning a minute later with a damp washcloth. Lowering himself back onto the floor, he began to very gently clean around the injury, doing his best not to apply too much pressure. "Can you tell me your name?" John asked as he worked.
Sherlock sighed, and John could practically hear him rolling his eyes.
"Where do you live?"
"Right here. In this flat. With you."
"And who am I?"
"John Hamish Watson. Army doctor. Blogger. Colleague. Friend."
John almost smiled at this, but managed to stay professional. "Good. Last question. Who is Jim Moriarty?"
He muttered something that John couldn't make out.
"Don't. Never mind." John said. "Sorry. Probably too much right now."
Sherlock sat up abruptly, staring blankly. "James, 'Jim', Moriarty. Consulting criminal. A tradesman for hire. Not the sort who'd fix your heating. Thinks I'm boring. On the side of the angels. Likes to watch me dance. Wants to burn the heart of out me. Obsessive. Meticulous. Jim from the hospital. Playing Jim from IT. Playing gay. "Daddy's had enough now!" Thinks he should get a live in one, a pet. Molly's boyfriend. Short lived, obviously. Wanted to blow you up. Moriarty, my arch enemy."
He began the speech in a flat monotone, but as he mentioned the parts about Moriarty that included John, his voice shook. And by the end, he was visibly exhausted.
John paused in trying to get the blood from Sherlock's hair to move directly into his field of vision. Looking his friend square in the eye, he nodded. "Yes. That is Moriarty. Yes, he has used me to get to you. But I am okay. And do you know why? Because you are smarter than he is; cleverer than he is, and he cannot beat you. And you are something Jim Moriarty will never be. A good man. And I'm lucky...very, very lucky, to have you as a friend."
Sherlock blinked. "Is it going to need stitches?" Seeing John's blank stare, he added, "the wound. Is it going to need stitches?"
John Watson bowed his head. Once he was in control again, he looked back up. "No, I don't think so."
Sherlock nodded slowly. "Thank you John."
John stood, extending a hand to help his friend up. "You're back, then?" he asked.
Sherlock smirked, ignoring John's hand and rising on his own, brushing his shirt off as he did. "Was I ever really gone?"
John shook his head. "Sherlock, you nearly died. You woke up from...whatever happened to you, and didn't know who you were. Do you understand? You could have wandered around lost until somebody found you. You could have ended up a completely different person! You could have decided to hate me instead of Anderson!" The last felt lame coming out of John's mouth, but it had been a real worry John had felt the moment he realized Sherlock had no idea who he was.
Sherlock studied him for a moment.
"The first time I met you, I didn't hate you. I see no reason why that would have been any different the second time I met you, as it were. And as for not hating Anderson... I believe my hate for him is in my DNA. I am programmed to hate stupidity. There's no changing that."
"But I don't get...I mean, I'm not entirely clever myself!" John cried. "I can stitch up a wound, but I can't do any of your...deduction stuff! Half the time Anderson says something I hadn't even thought of! Why me, Sherlock? Why is it you can put up with me?!"
"I don't remember," Sherlock replied, entirely straight faced.
John stood dumbstruck as Sherlock walked calmly past him and into the living room. A moment later, the sound of a violin struck up; a cheery, lively tune. And, just for a moment, John Watson smiled.
A moment later, a yawn escaped him, and he too walked through the door to the living area of 221B Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, intent on making a cup of much-needed tea.