A/N- Part three! This one is set a few days after 'Resonant.' Hope y'all like! ;) Please tell me what you think! John's first person POV, present tense.
The day has been long and trying; mostly made so by the headaches that have plagued me since before my friend's death, and the small amount of sleep I was able to catch last night as a result. It's past eight when my cell phone rings.
I'm tempted not to pick it up. I've just made myself comfortable in my sitting-room chair with the evening paper- and I can honestly think of no one who would call that I feel any desire to speak to. But curiosity has the better of me and I rise to pick it up from the coffee table. The caller ID is unavailable, increasing my interest as I pace to the window and flip it open. "Hello?"
When the reply is slow in coming, I repeat myself and listen hard.
I come to a stop upon hearing that low, deep voice; in fact, every cell of my body seems to stand still for a moment. I'm silent for several seconds, I suppose, before finding my voice somewhat. "S-sorry," I stammer with a frown, in disbelief of my ears. "Who- uh, who is this?"
"It's me, John. Sherlock."
My mind is racing. This could be a trick; this must be a trick- and yet it sounds just like him. I step backward till my back meets the mantel, and lean against it for support while my breaths grow heavy and short. "What?" I pant, but am uncertain whether I've made any sound. I clear my throat before demanding angrily, "Look, if this is some kind of disgusting joke-"
"No- no, John, this isn't a joke; don't hang up. It was all a fake. The jump. The fall… The body. It wasn't me."
My thoughts are running erratic, impossible circles at these words. I'm all but overcome with fright and an unrealistic sense of hope- yet the fear that hangs over it is just as strong.
"Listen, John," continues the voice I thought I'd never again hear, wavering in a way uncommon to it. "I don't have time to explain now. I promise that I'll call you again and tell you everything." He stops and sighs. "I'm sorry that I had to lie to you. But I need you to trust me when I tell you that it was for your safety- and you mustn't tell anyone that I'm alive; not now- do you understand?"
I remain speechless as I hear and struggle to grasp the meaning of what he tells me. I want so much to believe what seems to be happening, but I remain cautious of the dangers of doing so. Hardly aware of the action, I sink into my armchair, knowing I should respond, but having no clue what to say.
"I wanted to call you sooner, John," the voice on the phone tells me, his tone regretful. "I wouldn't have done it at all if it hadn't been necessary to keep you safe. …John?"
I can only take that as my cue to reply, so at last, I oblige him. "Sherlock, how do I-" My voice breaks, and I start again. "How can I be sure…? That it's really you and not… some kind of trick?"
A deep breath is taken across the line. "I know that you were sitting in your armchair reading the evening paper when I called, as you always do this time of day. You had to get up to answer your phone because you placed it on the coffee table when you came home- if you haven't broken your habit, that is. You're making a fist with your right hand; if your left weren't holding the phone, it would be both hands. …Which doesn't verify anything because if someone wanted to fool you, they'd be watching the flat. But I don't know for seeing it, I know because it's your habit when you're anxious and out of sorts, and sometimes you aren't even aware of it.
"You own a wallet with your initials on it but you've never used it because you broke up with the woman who gave it to you shortly after receiving it. You keep it in a lower dresser drawer because, like the other keepsakes you store inside, you don't want to see it, but you haven't the heart to get rid of it.
"You enjoy classical, nineteen-eighties, and contemporary music but think that extreme vintage is rubbish. You only drink at social gatherings and restaurants; you prefer Chinese in take-out, but order Italian on occasion for old times' sake because I always pressed for it." He pauses. "And you think my violin sounds 'a good deal better in the day time' than at midnight."
A smile comes over my face almost involuntarily, but it's with deliberation that I relax my right fist.
His voice is gentler as he asks me, "Is that proof enough?"
I find myself nodding, and blinking eyes that have watered with tears of a joy that is unspeakable. "Yes," I answer. "But one thing- Sherlock… how did you know about the Italian?"
One of those rare smiles is present in his tone when he replies. "I admit I was making a guess on your sentimentality."
A small laugh rises in my throat- awkward in sound, but perfectly earnest. It's such a strange thing to hear Sherlock say- and laughing just feels right at this moment.
"I have to go," he says now, causing me to wonder what it is that's going on- but as I do trust him, I determine not to hold him up.
"All right- take care of yourself, Sherlock." I say it as more of an order than anything else, for all the effect that will have upon him.
"And you," he answers. "Remember, John- not a word, not a hint to anyone- do you understand? Both our lives may depend upon it."
"I swear I won't tell a soul," I assure him.
"Okay." By his hesitant voice, I can tell that he doesn't want to go any more than I do. "I'll call you again soon, John- I promise. Goodbye."
"Goodbye." I listen as he hangs up before doing the same.
My smile returns with full intensity. I should have known he couldn't be dead.
A/N- So- step one in the reunion! It's just too much fun to drag it out. ;) Keep reading!