Sherlock erupts from the unpromising earth. Tedious, he says, and Well, John, he says. Shakes catkins from curls, sloughs leaf litter like shedding a shirt. There's green at his fingertips.
You bastard, John says, I left flowers on your grave.
Sun-bright xerochrysum, sharp-edged and golden as lions. As John.
I kept one.
Three winters' cold: the ground more disturbed, harder than Sherlock expected; rocky. Less room to root his deductions. Less right.
John sighs. Come here. Washes the palimpsest of dirt from the skin, gentle down to the birch-bark-whiteness, written with veins. Sherlock bends in the wake of John's breath. Honey is in it, and tannin, and balm. John can't help it, the healing. What he does.
There's tea, later, alterative and bitter and green; it tastes familiar, of leaves.