Disclaimer: Don't own.
Somehow 221B Baker Street feels less cluttered.
John isn't exactly sure why; he hasn't moved anything; he's barely moved himself. At some point he had spent countless hours musing over what could possibly be different. But today he's forgotten to let it bother him. Perhaps the overbearing mess was only ever a reflection of Sherlock. A natural frame for his cluttered mind palace to potter around in… but now he's gone, and the negative space he left behind refuses to be filled by his foregone clutter.
Rationally he can see the same old forgotten scattered projects and papers. He scrunches his toes and watches them crumple and tickle his feet where he sits huddled on the cold floorboards. Remnants of old cases Sherlock refused to tidy up. But something is wrong. Different. A fluttering ripple suddenly runs across the floor and picks up their dog eared edges, lifting them up in an ink scribbled dance. A few flitter further across the floor on the breeze of the opening door and they tumble into the empty fireplace.
John pulls the dark silk dressing gown tighter around himself. The appropriate response, he deduces; normal people react when it is cold. John can't remember the last time he reacted like a normal person.
The kettle clicks in the kitchen and Mrs Hudson scurries around beginning the ritual of tea and biscuits over again. Sometimes John wonders whether Mrs Hudson is aware of just how achingly British she is. But he's too busy trying to breathe through her scattered Mrs Hudson-isms. She's invading the flat, their flat, with the smell of stale cake and secret oh-one-won't-hurt cigarettes.
Suddenly a mug is forced between his clenched hands and Mrs Hudson gives him one of her pitying looks.
"It's time to get up John. We don't want to be late, not today of all…" John tries to neatly shut her away in a box inside of his head. The little mind attic where he keeps the things he doesn't want to think about. But her inane chatter still leaks quietly through the little air holes he had drilled into the panels in a fit of charity.
John sighs and sips the smoking tea – a little buzz of musings on the weather is better than nothing and certainly better than the blood soaking out of one very large box he's hidden away in the darkest corner…
Sudden and everywhere. Sunlight scrambling through the dusty air as Mrs Hudson flings the curtains open. Her little air holes of humanity are nailed up as the tea tumbles out of John's hands and splashes angrily against Sherlock's dressing gown.
"Oh look what you've done now John." He's suddenly grasped tightly under the arms and hauled to his feet, "Upsie daisie."
Mrs Hudson is unnervingly stronger than she looks.
"It's time you got dressed dearie. The service is in an hour. I'm sure Mycroft will have done a wonderful job… poor duckie. He must be feeling even worse than us John. Come on, I can't be strong for him alone."
Her deceptively frail little hands give him a gentle push towards the stairs and John feels himself drift towards his room and the black suit waiting for him on the back of the door. Personally, he doesn't see why he can't just wear the dressing gown to the funeral. Sherlock certainly wouldn't have minded. The very large leaking box begins to pry itself open as John kicks his way through Sherlock's clutter and up the stairs. He hurriedly slams the lid shut shut and gasps down the emptiness again. It wouldn't do to ruin the high calibre of the funeral with a crippled sobbing army doctor clinging to a dressing gown.
No that was reserved for their empty little flat.