His cane echoes eerily in the empty halls of the Enterprise.

He wonders idly where the buzz of activity is, but supposes it's contained behind the closed doors of the mighty ship.

At his waist, his lifted communicator chirps; Dr. McCoy summoning him to sick bay to help with the number of officers swarming to have a doctor deal with the cuts and scrapes and bruises that appeared when Enterprise so ungraciously dropped out of warp. Now that a change in shift in engineering has passed, John imagines it will be even more hectic with frustrated and whiny crew.

He ignores the summons (and fights against the cold disgust radiating from his core at the petty grievances of some of the pups. He cannot allow the inner beast to consume his control) and continues on his journey, limp becoming more pronounced.

It's quite easy to bypass the security of holding.

Ever since he woke, he has slowly but efficiently been gaining knowledge of how Starfleet operates and seamlessly applied this information to securing a spot on the Enterprise. Marcus had no idea of his identity or that he even existed and John used this to his advantage, fitting in quickly with the rather eclectic ship and even found himself in Leonard McCoy's favor as a second level headed doctor on the adventure prone ship.

Oddly enough, he had found a fond affection for the Enterprise.

But the time had come, as he knew it always would.

Raising his PADD, he taps in a simple over ride sequence and the door slides open without a sound. Smiling in slight amusement, he returns the PADD to its proper place and steps inside.

The door seals shut with a nearly indiscernible hiss behind him.

For a moment, he watches silently the scene before him. The two security officers face their respective screens and have not taken note of him. Beyond them, the Captain and First Officer stand, shoulder to shoulder and John wishes none of this had occurred.

He likes young Captain Kirk; he reminds John a little of himself of the way he used to be. Before.

However, his focus instantly snaps to the black clad trapped behind the glass like an animal. In his mind's eye, the picture of the man shimmers and wavers, replaced briefly by the image of a panther snarling and pacing in the cage.

He nearly snorts at how fitting it is; instead, he shakes his head for clarity.

Deciding it's time, he rolls his shoulders and begins moving forward.

His cane taps loudly on the polished floors and he ignores how the four Starfleet individuals whirl on him. The security officers relax quickly when they see the Science blues he sports, but Kirk and Spock do no such thing. He admires the way they both move to protect the other, Spock lead by logic and Kirk lead by instinct. Fascinating.

"What can I help you with, Dr. Watson?" Kirk asks wearily and John notes how the caged beast tenses fully and draws up to his full height, back still to the barrier.

"Absolutely nothing," John murmurs, drawing to a halt meters away. He speaks before he can be questioned further.

"It appears you've done a bit of very much not good," he murmurs, addressing the panther in the cage. "I leave you alone for too long and you go breaking things. What would Mummy think?"

He registers the look of surprise cross Kirk's face and the small twitch in Spock's jaw (more than he could have ever seen from Before. But things had changed. 300 years of practice and one could see more than even the great Sherlock Holmes could imagine) but just raises an eyebrow in preparation.

He has not long to wait.

The panther whirls, hands slamming against the barrier as he pressed as close as possible, crystalline eyes frantically cataloguing every detail of John Watson possible. As both the Captain and First Officer both jerk away in surprise, John remains unflinching but studies his friend (his other half) with equal intensity.

When he meets the eyes of silver and sky, he cannot help the small hiss that escapes his lips when he sees the tears hovering around broken eyes.

"John?" Sherlock breaths like a prayer, reverence evident in the way one hand on the glass trembles. Everything he sees is taken in and processed and the confusion that coats his face is almost enough to make John laugh.

At that moment, Spock butts in. "Doctor, what is the meaning of this interruption?" he demands coolly, dark eyes seeing but not understanding.

Taking the opportunity to break away from the gaze of a tortured soul, John leans on his cane for support (out of the corner of his eye, he catches the smallest of frowns) and looks to Jim. Whatever Jim sees in John's face is enough to warrant an exit.

"Let's go Spock," the Captain murmurs, silencing any protests the half Vulcan may have by taking his arm and moving him bodily from the room. Kirk, who has actually sought John out over the months he has spent aboard this ship, for both advice and camaraderie, understands without knowing and John knows in that instant, if all goes well (unlikely), he wants to stay aboard the Enterprise.

"You were dead. I held your body," Sherlock's voice echoes, not in accusation but in simple baffled wonderment (and isn't that a kicker; for a moment, he doesn't see everything, he only sees one), the small tones of a lost child playing at John's heartstrings. At that instant, his face is more open than John could have ever imagined.

"Could say the same to you," John responds casually, leaning the old worn cane against the glass and shifting his weight.

Sherlock's expression tightens and flits with a brief second of anguish at old pains (pains that took years for the bloody ponce to admit).

"I concede your point," Sherlock mutters as graciously as he can, still too stunned to say much more. After all, Sherlock went to sleep believing John had been torn to pieces by fearful scientist.

They stand in heavy silence, until the turmoil becomes too much, and Sherlock goes to his knees before his saviour and his downfall. His breaths hiss raggedly and his gaze darts, unseeing, from place to place.

John waits.

He would always be waiting.

Eventually, John lowers himself into a crouch and studiously ignores the twinge in his leg (it's not there Watson, hasn't been for bloody centuries).

Broken eyes finally focus.

"You left me," Sherlock whispers, shattered, confused. Betrayed.

John closes his eyes and rests a palm against the glass.

"I'm sorry," he says. "More than you could imagine."

And the words echo.


A/N: This has the possibility of being a twoshot, dependant on your opinions.

I may have messed with the timeline of the movie a touch, just to tweak it for the fic.