Disclaimer: Don't own Sherlock. That is the brain child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and this incarnation of Moffat and Gatiss.
A/N: I love Post-Reichenbach fics. But I'd been reading them and oftentimes Sherlock would return because something happened to John (it happens more often because I filter by Johnlock) or Moran was specifically targeting John now because he knew Sherlock was alive or whatever and I wondered this: What would happen if John and Moran were old friends? So this came to be. I abused artistic license by changing Moran's history to fit what I wanted. Basically, he was not drummed out of the Army. Sorry, ACD!
This has not been beta'd or britpicked. Sorry!
John Watson stepped through the door of 221B and sighed gustily. He kicked the door shut behind him, staring at the two men in seated in the armchairs. Shaking his head, he settled onto the couch, his mobile in hand. Without speaking to either man, he found the number he was looking for and pressed the phone to his ear.
"Are you still at the pub?"
"We were just about to leave. Why?"
"I need a drink. Why don't you both come by and I'll open that bottle of scotch you gave me?"
"His Nibs and His Grace have decided to drop in."
"Give us ten, then."
John tucked his phone back into his pocket and resumed staring at the two men. Nobody said a word as the minutes past, and John was content with the silence. Soon enough, the downstairs door opened and two pairs of feet were heard coming up the stairs just before the door to the flat opened. Greg Lestrade stared at the two men in the armchairs, then continued in and sat on the sofa John had just vacated. He was followed by another man, this one of military bearing, roughly Lestrade's age and barely giving the two men a glance as he settled next to the DI. His appearance, however, caused both silent men to sit up and take notice, both outraged that this man dared to enter the flat at all. John returned with three glasses and a bottle of Glenfiddich.
"So!" he said brightly. Overly bright, even, as he passed two glasses to the newcomers. "Seb, this is His Nibs and His Grace. Mycroft, Sherlock, this is an old war buddy of mine, Sebastian Moran."
"Do you know who that man is, John?" Sherlock questioned. "No, I can see that you do. Why, John?" Both Holmes had their gaze trained hostilely on Moran, who merely sipped from his glass and smirked at them.
"Do you know, Sherlock," John began in a conversational tone. "Had you told me what you were doing, or even that you were actually still alive, you could have been home long before now. As it is, I've been waiting nearly three years for you to find your bollocks and come back."
Greg and Sebastian traded grins at that.
"I've been gone three years, two months and eighteen days."
"Yes, well. I admit that I'm not as clever as you. Few are. His Jim, of course, was. The Woman, not as clever, but far more so than I am. However, I did piece it together. Took about seven months, but grief will do that to you." John's voice was steady, calm, and virtually devoid of all emotion. One could almost think that he was discussing the weather with somebody he'd just met on the tube for all the feeling he put into it.
"And how did you figure it out, John?" Mycroft asked.
"Let's see. About a week after Sherlock and Jim died, Sebastian found me in the pub. We'd known each other in Afghanistan, you see, and had been having pints together twice a month at least since he got back to England. I, of course, told him about the brilliant genius I'd lost the week before, and how life was so dull without him around. Seb told me about losing his Jim, his own genius. I'd cottoned on that he was talking about Moriarty, of course. Then Seb told me that he was the sniper tasked with taking me out." He relished the looks of almost-shock on the brothers' faces. "He told me that he could give me the rest of Moriarty's ring, too. Like the snipers on Greg and Mrs Hudson. Of course, I called Greg and he came down to meet us then we all headed to Greg's flat. It was... difficult for me, you know. Being here. So over the course of a few weeks, we gathered files and dossiers on everyone Seb knew of. And that was nearly everyone. We did run across a couple that we were unaware of, but Greg handled that easily enough."
"By handled, you mean he took them in and charged them with something."
"Of course. You know, if you'd just let me know you were alive, let me know what you were doing and given me some way to get in touch with you, I could have given you everything you needed."
"At any rate, we figured you were still alive when everyone Sebastian told us about started turning up dead," Greg put in. "Then, one night after getting fantastically pissed, John had the bright idea to make certain."
John and Sebastian joined Greg in his laughter.
"Right!" Sebastian chuckled. "John Watson, Grave Digger extraordinaire!"
John flushed a bit but smiled ruefully. "Not like you two weren't right there digging too. And besides, not like the dead care if we mess around in their bedroom."
"That was you? You dug up Sherlock's coffin?" Mycroft asked, incredulous.
"Yes, I'd figured you'd be contacted. After making sure it was empty, we did a piss poor job of putting it back, didn't we." John laughed again, a harsher sound this time.
"John. This man was willing to shoot you on the whims of a madman!"
John sighed and shook his head. "He was, yes. I'm well aware of that, actually."
"And now that he knows I'm alive, why do you think he won't still shoot you?"
"Jesus, Sherlock! Weren't you listening?" John paced around, hands moving erratically, scotch sloshing over the side of his glass. He stared at his hand a moment, glistening from the alcohol then tossed the scotch back and set his glass down on the table with an exaggerated care that left no doubt about the fury boiling under his skin. "He has known for two and a half years, you twat!" He cut off and glared at Greg and Seb who were sniggering.
"You'd be friends with a man who was willing to murder you?"
"Dammit, Sherlock! Yes, he would have killed me for his Jim. Just like I would have killed him for you, you idiot. But Moriarty, at least, died that day. And Seb and I were friends long before Jim Moriarty came into either of our lives. He even felt bad about it. Granted, he would have done it, but he would have felt guilty over it. But you got one over on Jim Moriarty at the end, and couldn't be arsed to let me know you were alive, so Seb and Greg helped me through my grief, and we helped Seb through his. you'd be amazed at the bonds shared grief can forge.
"Besides, Sherlock. I'm friends with you, and you've led me into danger, left me behind to go into danger on your own, found a way to ruin every relationship I'd begun with a woman, nearly cost me my job time and again, and left me to my grief without a word for years. So what's a little contemplated murder between friends?"
John collected the glasses, glanced around at all of his friends – even Mycroft – and smiled. "So. Tea?"