It was three years after the incident when it happened. Three years that seemed like centuries.
I had gotten past it all.
The getting arrested.
Free loading on Mrs. Hutton.
I had my life back together. I had a full time job at a hospital (not at St. Barts- naturally). My fiancé stayed in 221B with me. It was decorated the same and everything. His room remained untouched. In short my life was going very well.
Then I started seeing Sherlock.
He would walk around when Erin wasn't home. It was troubling at first but it made sense that the normality should make me miss him.
He didn't talk back.
Erin noticed I was acting strange a few days after Sherlock showed up.
She called off our marriage within a week.
So Sherlock was home all the time. Just going things like drinking tea or playing Violin. I knew they were only memories. I started up all my old habits again.
I quit shaving, eating, showering, and started drinking. I went out a few times whenever I could to get away from Sherlock. But I had nowhere to go.
So I went back to Sherlock- the real Sherlock in the round with a tombstone. I would take his coat, scarf, and deer-stalker out, bring cleaning supplies and a new bouquet of flowers. I would try to bring a mix of yellow acacias, peach aoles, but sometimes our flower shop ran out.
His grave was cleaner than I was.
It wasn't that all.
I wouldfall asleep there.
Lestrade would arrest me at least once a week for sleeping on the grave. Because I was there after hours I was trespassing. It's not his division but he drove by everyday on his way to work and picked me up and took me home in cuffs out of pity I guess.
It was a sad life.
Sherlock stayed in the flat. He was always doing the most tasks like using the toilet or sleeping on the couch. I tried not to disturb him. I never told him to get dressed or stop playing.
Lestreade, Mrs. Hudson, and Molly took turns checking on me. Lestrade mainly made sure I wasn't planning on committing homicide or suicide. And regardless of Mrs. Hudson's efforts I lost twenty pounds that month. And Molly- well Molly just cleaned my flat while I stunk of cheap ale and was snoring on the couch. Sometimes I could hear her crying.
When I was left alone I followed Sherlock around and cried. He always played the most heartbreaking songs on his violin. He would occasionally glance at me with a mixture of pity and hope on his face.
One night about a week before Christmas the song was especially sad.
Our neighbor came over and knocked on the door rather loudly. I opened the door taken aback that anyone else was up at this hour. He looked straight past me to the window and told Sherlock to knock it off.
"You can see him too? That man there with dark curls and light eyes. Holding a violin. You can see him?"
Of course he could. Because Sherlock was there in the flat. I wasn't crazy. Sherlock Holmes was back. He came back to me even after painted over that yellow smile, after my life had gone back to normal. He came back after three years. He came back after I stopped believing in him. Tears swelled in my eyes as I ran across the room tripping over everything.
I was hugging him. And fell to the ground. "You did it. You made one last miracle. Sherlock." Slowly I backed away from my friend. I could see it now how he had aged. Some grey in his hair and maybe a wrinkle.
"You twat!" My fist hit is cheekbones which were as striking as ever. He stumbled a few steps back and hit the bookshelves knocking a book by Doyle off. "Why would you do this to me? How did you do this? What have you been doing for the last three years? Three years! I waited for you! My life was normal again. I was fixed. I had Erin but then you decide to play ghost and fuck it all up! Are you even Sherlock?"
I continuously stepped forward my voice rising until it crescendo-ed on his name. My heart beat was quick and my breath was hot against his neck. I lunged forward again and Sherlock flinched a little but this time it was my lips against his. It was hard and warm. Sherlock just stood there for a moment before he kissed me back.
I pulled away to examine his cheekbone. He would have a nasty bruise but he deserved it. Kissing it lingeringly. Eventually my lips reached his and it was so soft and warm.
"Sherlock. I want you to know I love you. And I'm sorry that I punched you. And that I kissed you. I just- will you stay this time?"
"The answer to that Watson is elementary. Always." And then Sherlock leaned in and pressed his lips to mine. "I love you too, John."