A/N- This is a "Director's Cut", of sorts, to my fic After the Fall (which you can find on my profile. The mind boggles as to why I'm not allowed to link to it here...)
Since these are missing scenes and moments of that fic, they might not make much sense to you if you're not familiar with it, but you can probably still enjoy them anyway. The numbers in the chapter titles indicate where they fall as per After the Fall; for example, 3:2 is the second chapter in Fall Interludes that takes place during or after Chapter 3 of After the Fall.
John watched Molly get into the cab on the kerb, then shut the flat door and drew the security chain across again. He glanced at the clock. Just before nine. Far too early to be crawling into bed.
Besides, the people upstairs were watching a DVD and had the TV turned up so loud that John could tell which one. Batman Begins. He'd rented that once when he - when they'd lived at Baker Street. Just before it had happened. Of course, Sherlock had rolled his eyes and flicked his dressing gown petulantly and made some bitchy remark about his flatmate's low-brow taste in cinema. At first he'd flounced off to his bedroom. But after he'd come out again to find some book he owned on Ancient Mesopotamian burial practices, he'd ended up sitting down to watch, enthralled through the whole thing and never venturing so much as a word. John remembered him sitting bundled up in his armchair, hands clasped around his knees, grey eyes glinting with keen interest. He'd admitted afterwards that perhaps it might be beneficial for him to become more informed about popular culture.
"You know, if you'd watched this before we went out to Devon, you'd probably have solved the Baskerville case a lot quicker," John had made a point of teasing him.
"Well, you saw it months ago, and it didn't help you any," had been the cross response.
"No," John conceded. "But then, I'm not the world's only consulting detective, am I?"
Another conversation that had been funny at the time. Another memory which sometimes kept John up at night. I was so hard on him all the time. Every day. If I'd just let him know how much I thought of him...
Sherlock was dead seven weeks later.
This was new progress for John. Just that week, he'd been able to say it clearly, both in his head and in his heart: Sherlock is dead.
Ella had told him just the day before. You can't change the past. You can only change how you respond to the past.
The usual rubbish that Ella came up with in therapy. Honestly, if it wasn't for Greg making a point of saying, "How's Ella?"every time they saw one another, he'd have been sorely tempted to give up on that. It wasn't making him feel any better. Mostly, it was just making him feel worse. Since the previous afternoon, it was a refrain he couldn't get out of his head: Sherlock is dead. Sherlock is dead. Sherlock is dead.
He pulled out his laptop and fired it up, sitting on the bed with it balancing on his knees. As good a heater as any, really, and the warmth soothed the stiff, aching muscles in his right leg.
He had no internet access, of course - it would be just another bill he didn't need and couldn't pay. He was determined not to hack into upstairs' account, even though Sherlock had once shown him how simple it was to do. Anyway, the last thing he wanted was to go through about a month's worth of backlogged emails, or have an awkward chat with Harry. And then, the last time he'd been online at Greg's place, his fingers had twitched to type in the old familiar address of Sherlock's website...
He couldn't go back there. Not now. Maybe not ever.
John played solitaire for half an hour. Decent game for boredom, something to concentrate on beyond the upstairs DVD and the ache in his leg. His concentration broke only when his phone bleeped out a text alert. He fished it out of his jacket pocket and looked at the displayed number.
Hi John, I just found a blanket I don't really have room to store. Would you like me to bring it over?
Sighing, he thumbed in the response. Not tonight Molly. It's late and cold.
Okay, sorry if I woke you up.
You didn't, it's fine. Goodnight.