Harry and John

Harriet Watson was used to her brother crashing on her couch. Even though she knew he didn't approve of her drinking or her other parts of her lifestyle, which apparently Clara didn't approve of either since she had moved out again, he often spent nights on her couch. Since Uni John had spent nights on her couch when life was hard on him and he needed to escape. When he had come back from Afghanistan, he didn't take her up on her offer that he could live with her. Instead he dropped in once or twice a week and spent the night on the couch. When Sherlock died he spent two weeks on the couch until he found another apartment to stay in, but he insisted he couldn't use the guest room. Periodic visits since the death of his best friend were always the same. John slept on the couch.

So tonight Harry was in for a surprise when she answered the door to see her brother with a duffle bag. He hadn't been over to spend the night in almost six months, but tonight he had shown up with a bag and asked if he could stay the night. She started clearing the couch but, instead of following her, John had trudged upstairs and thrown his bag in the guest room. When he came back down, he offered no explanation. Instead, he smiled and offered to cook dinner.

They had eaten dinner in silence. Take away since Harry knew her brother well enough to decline his offer to make dinner. John moved his food around on his plate but barely ate any. He forced a smile on his face every time Harry managed to catch his eye. By the end of dinner Harry was tired of seeing the troubled look in his eyes. He had looked sad everyday of the past three years, but tonight the sadness was replaced by something else that she couldn't quite identify. After they finished their awkward meal, John had excused himself and went to bed. Harry tried to watch telly for almost two hours before she gave up and walked upstairs.

"Alright, what's wrong," Harry burst into the room. John stood, without his shirt on, staring in the mirror. He looked up in surprise. He was standing over the sink in the bathroom with the door opened. Harry could see the ink that covered her brother's skin. John had tattoos since he was 20 and Harry knew about many of them. The last time she had seen any of them was over three years ago though. Her brother kept his collection well hidden and even she was unsure about how many he had. He was never shy when she saw them, but he didn't put them on display on purpose. She knew his private art was just that, private. Today she saw several additions including a violin on his chest. When John turned to face her, she could see it much more clearly.

"The side panel is new." Harry smiled. She stared at the violin on John's chest though. The name that was inked in letters was familiar and the design was beautiful even to her untrained eye. It didn't surprise her, but it held her attention. Sherlock's name decorated her brother's chest right over his heart. "And others."

"He's alive," John told her flatly. Harry's attention was snapped back to John's face.

"What?" she looked at him wondering if he had actually lost his mind.

"He showed up at the flat tonight. Greg had come over and we had a couple of drinks and then suddenly he just walked into the flat like it was normal. He stood there like I was the one of place just looking at me with that mop of black curls. I dropped my drink and I thought maybe I'd had just a couple too many or something. Then Greg walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, that's when I knew he was real because Greg saw him too. Then he asked if he could stay again, if he was still welcome and I told him yes I just said yes. I should've punched him or something. I mourned him and went to his grave. It's been three years Harry. THREE YEARS! He's been gone for three years and he didn't even say anything about why. He just asked where all his clothes were," John's voice ranged from shouting to whispering as he told Harry about his evening. He was almost sobbing by the time he finished his story. "She, Irene, made me think he could be alive, but after working with Mycroft for so long to clear his name and he never came back I just gave up on it. There weren't any more signs after her. I was sure she was just wrong and I told him that when I went to his grave two weeks ago. I told him I knew he was dead for sure. Then he shows up tonight."

Harry was quiet for a few moments while she tried to process everything. Sherlock was alive? Her brother should be happy. She knew he loved the crazy detective, but she wasn't sure in what way exactly. This little speech almost proved it to her that John was in love with the man. He was so relieved and so angry at the same time. She almost laughed at John.

"You have to go home." Harry told him. She smiled at him.

"What? Are you kicking me out? The one time I will stay in your guest room and you send me away?" John's asked in disbelief.

"How long was he home before you stomped out of the house?" she asked. John's face softened a bit.

"About twenty minutes," John admitted.

"Well then how can you say he didn't offer an explanation?"

"I…well…"John paused and looked at her again.

"What's this about?" Harry poked John in the middle of his chest.

"He was dead…" John started.

"Yea, I know."

"I wasn't coping with it. It just was eating me alive…and I just needed something to help me keep going. I mean I was dreaming again, but it was all about him falling and dying rather than war. He called me right before he jumped and told me he was faking it. He told me he was faking being a genius. Those words were haunting me. I needed to believe in him. So I went and designed this." He rubbed where she had poked him.

"You always did with the tough stuff." Harry smiled. "Get out of here. I mean it. You need to give him a chance to explain. It better be good or I'll really kill him."

The two of them laughed some and John gathered his things. He hailed a cab from Harry's step and jumped in as she locked the door behind him. She turned on the telly hoping to hear from John before she went to bed. She slowly fell asleep but her phone woke her up a few hours later.

Apparently a consulting criminal was threatening my life – JW

She sent a quick reply along the lines that might be on the short list of acceptable answers before heading to bed. As she fell asleep she received a text from an unknown number.

Thank You for sending him home Harry – SH

Your welcome Mr. Holmes. Don't do this to him again. –HW

I don't plan on it. – SH.