He steps out of the car. The sky is lightening, slate gray.
The plane waits on the runway. He looks at it, and is struck with a wave of déjà vu, overwhelming, nauseating. Behind him, the driver has turned off the car. The engine clicks in the cold air.
John and Mary are standing together. They are looking at the plane, and neither turns at Sherlock’s approach. There is a man in a black suit with them, a CIA agent, no doubt. Sherlock is irrationally glad it is not the man he remembers from the Adler case.
He draws closer, holding himself in check, carefully blank. His eyes sweep over the pair of them. They look tired. Unhappy.
John meets his gaze, swallows. “MI6 was waiting at my house when I got home last night,” he says. He makes a terrible attempt to smile. “Kind of thing that seems like it would be a lot more exciting than it actually was.”
"Given your near-constant need to embellish and exaggerate on your blog, I’d have thought you were already well aware of the disconnect between fiction and reality,“ Sherlock murmurs.
"Joking, then,” John says, his face still approximating a smile. He nods. “Good. That's—that’s good.”
A retort dies on Sherlock’s lips. He cannot seem to maintain the fiction that all is well, cannot go on bantering with John as if this is not the end. He’s already done this. Doing it again is tantamount to torture. He looks past John, stares hard at the plane that is to take him away.
"Sherlock,“ John says. His shoulders are hunched against the wind. "Mary and I talked last night. After.”
He does not want to hear this. There is no reason to hear this. Obviously, they’ve talked. They wouldn’t be standing here, in the cold, if they hadn’t talked. Mycroft has already told him about the deal that’s been cut, about the new identities and the new lives and the official pardons. It is all logical and sound and fine but he does not want to hear it again, and he certainly does not want to hear it from John Watson’s mouth.
So he tunes out the words that John is saying, instead takes the time
to look his fill, to memorize all of the curves and planes of his friend’s
face. There are laugh lines around his eyes, deeper now than when they first
met, and although he is not laughing now it is easy to remember the times they
have laughed together, laughed well and loud. He’s never laughed quite the same way
with anyone else as
he laughs with John Watson. Their association has left its mark on John’s skin.
This pleases him.