"But you're dead."
"Well obviously I'm not."
"No!" John squeezed his eyes shut. "I saw you fall! You're dead1"
"No!" John clutched his head in his hands. "I saw you fall. I saw the blood and got it on my hands!" He looked at his hands in horror, eyes wide and terrified, shaking violently as he choked. "I felt your pulse die." He whimpered slightly and clutched his head again. Sherlock wanted nothing more than to go to John and comfort him. To hug him tightly. To kiss his beautiful face over and over. To whisper sweet and soothing things in his ear. But he couldn't Not yet. He didn't have that right. So he turned to the one person John would listen to at this moment. Mrs. Hudson.
"Mrs. Hudson, will you please tell him that I'm quite clearly alive?" Sherlock asked in exasperation.
"Don't worry, dear." Mrs. Hudson said soothingly. "He's just in the first stage."
"Well, Connie Prince - you know, the one who helped me with your-"
"Yes, I remember." Sherlock said impatiently. "Get to the point."
"Well she said that there are three stages to the process of grief."
"Like I said, he's in the first stage -"
"Yes, but what's the stage?" Sherlock snapped. "What happens?"
"This does, dear." Mrs. Hudson gestured to the still shaking John, making Sherlock swallow anxiously as his stomach swirled uncomfortably. "Denial."
"So what am I supposed to do?"
"Go out for a bit." Mrs. Hudson suggested. "Maybe go and get some milk. He likes milk."
"I know he likes milk." Sherlock said sharply. "How long should I stay out?"
"An hour or two."
"Fine. Stay with him until I return."
"Of course." Mrs. Hudson nodded and with that, he swept out of the flat.
An hour later, Sherlock again walked up to the flat, carrying a jug of milk, a box of tea, some cheesecakes, a tub of ice cream, and some nicotine patches he was sure to need. He opened the door and promptly walked into the kitchen to drop off everything. He began to put away the food, starting with the freezer and fridge items, quickly finishing with his patches. "Oh, Sherlock!" John sang, bringing a smile to Sherlock's face. He gracefully turned, eager to meet John in the hug he was going to recieve - Only to get punched in the face. Or more in the general eye vicinity. Hard. Sherlock stumbled back into the island with a cry of pain and shock. He looked at John, clutching his now throbbing face, and gaped as he saw just how furious the soldier was. John's eyes were nearly bulging out of his head, his whole face - including the tips of his ears - were a scarlet red, you could practically see steam blowing out of his ears and nose. Sherlock swallowed slowly. He was an consulting detective. John was an ex-soldier. Correction. An angry ex-soldier.
"John?" He said his name tentatively.
John exploded. "How could you?!"
"You bastard! How could you fake your own bloody death?! How could you fucking do that to me, Sherlock?! To me! I thought I was your fucking bloody best friend!"
"You are -"
"Then how could you do that to me, Sherlock?!" John roared. "That's not what best friend's do!"
"I know, but -"
The detective turned to see Mrs. Hudson. "A tad busy here." He snapped.
"He's just in the second stage."
"Let me guess." Sherlock hissed dryly. "Anger."
Mrs. Hudson nodded. "But I think he's nearly finished. Just go wait outside for a few minutes."
Sherlock sighed before nodding. "Alright." He turned to leave only to be tackled to the ground.
"John!" Mrs. Hudson gasped. "Sherlock, are you alright?"
Sherlock scuffled with John for a few seconds, John cursing and shouting things. "I'm fine! Just get him off!" Secretly, Sherlock would've been very happy with this postition had there not been the wild punches and cursing. After a minute of struggling, Mrs. Hudson was finally able to pull the still furious John off of Sherlock, giving him enough time and space to jump out and run to the door.
"Get back here, you bloody coward!" John screamed. "Get back here so I can really kill you!"
Sherlock flinched at how sincere the words sounded before shaking his head. 'John wouldn't say that. He's not like that.' Sherlock bit his lip. He cares about you. He's your best friend for God's sake.' And so he sat next to the door and waited.
A few minutes passed before the door opened again. Sherlock looked at an exhausted Mrs. Hudson's, one question popping out of his expression. She looked at him, paused, and nodded. Sherlock swiftly brushed past her, focusing solely on one person. And that one person sat on the couch, head bowed, faced turned in a way so Sherlock couldn't see his eyes, his gorgeous soulful eyes that Sherlock could practically drown in. 'Focus, Sherlock.' He mentally chided himself. He bit his lip slightly as he walked towardss the couch, hesitant yet wanting to run up and take John in his arms. But he walked over slowly like a good boy. Finally he was kneeling in front of John, whose face was still hidden to him. "John?" He croaked softly.
All of a sudden, he was on the floor again, wide-eyed and staring at a sobbing John, who was clutching onto Sherlock's coat for his dear life, burying his face into his scarf-covered neck. "You're alive." He kept sobbing. "You're really alive."
Sherlock wrapped his arms around John hesitantly and sat up gently. "Yes, I'm alive." He whispered, looking at John's tearstained face and wiping a few stray tears away sweetly.
John shifted so he was now straddling the detective. "I thought you were dead."
"I'm sorry." John didn't respond, merely looked down to begin fiddling with Sherlock's scarf. "Please forgive me, John." Sherlock pleaded, cupping John's face gently.
John sighed before raising an eyebrow and looking at him with tired mirth. "Don't I always?" Sherlock smiled before moving in for a gentle kiss from the lips he so dearly missed.