Was it my own breathing that woke me? No; it was the echoes. I could still hear my own voice, which was repeating, 'John. John!'
He wasn't there. He didn't come to me, he didn't hear me, he wasn't-- I stopped myself. My mobile was already in my hands. It barely rang.
I said into it, 'Mycroft--'
'Yes, Sherlock? Everything is fine.' There was a slight emphasis to the words. All of them.
'John... he...' I couldn't continue. Both of us ignored my harsh breathing, too loud.
'John is fine. I had a team on him.' Mycroft paused. 'I noticed a "homeless man" as well--'
I could hear the word 'alleged' and ignored it. Just as I always ignore things that are unimportant. Trivia.
I listened to his voice, as he continued exactly as if I had replied. His soothing voice, I noticed, which meant I must need soothing. I tried not to think about that.
Mycroft elaborated, knowing I needed to hear more. Knowing I needed the time as well as the data. Knowing... my knowing brother. I was equally bitterly grateful and deeply annoyed. As was his intention, of course.
He said, 'They kept him from doing himself any lasting harm. I was impressed by the bystander's intervention--' here I smiled a very minuscule smile, knowing my homeless network, 'as it was very timely.'
'Good.' My breathing was slowly returning to normal. So was my pulse.
'I shall send Miss Hooper to John later.'
I couldn't help myself; clearly my equilibrium was not as restored as I thought. No, presumed. 'What good will that do?' I asked.
I could picture Mycroft's small smile. 'You know the value of having an... irritant after a counter-irritant. Mrs Hudson is not quite up to visiting him until tomorrow. Anthea is with her now.'
'Ah, I see,' I said. I was calming down. Anthea would annoy John enough, simply by her presence, that Molly couldn't upset him too much.
Although Molly would be quite possibly as upset as Mrs Hudson... I compressed my lips, hard, and tried not to think about that either.
'Sherlock...' Mycroft paused for a beat. One that lengthened, as if to make sure I was really listening to him. He knew I would, with that tone of voice. 'Pirates. Treasure.'
I almost laughed. Almost. I felt myself relax the rest of the way. I said, sincerely, 'Thank you, Mycroft.'
'Of course. You will try to restrain yourself, I hope. I should not like to have to send cleanup crews to Paris or Moscow...' He paused again, delicately, then added finally, 'This year.'
I sighed a little. 'I will be home soon.'
'And here London has seemed so very quiet with you gone,' my brother said. It was a question, not the jibe it seemed.
'I promise, Mycroft.'
'Good. Have a care, brother. I will watch over John. He didn't use his gun; if he had -- well, no matter. It will disappear for a while. Until you arrive, naturally.'
I didn't bother wondering about the break-in that he would arrange. Mycroft would, as always, be very efficient. I did listen to the warning he'd inserted. Clever brother.
He added, 'Your timing is improving.'
I made a small noise of disagreement. 'Good afternoon, Mycroft.'
'Good morning... Sherlock.'
Of course Mycroft knew what the time difference was. At least he hadn't bothered to comment on the local weather.
I disconnected and looked at the rainy day outside. It didn't rain here like London. It was such a petty thing, but I... I couldn't think about non-trivia. Not right now.
Or I'd think about John. I'd call him. I couldn't. Not yet. My hands tightened, and then I made myself let go of the mobile. It wouldn't do to break the stupid thing. Not today.
I exhaled, and then whispered, 'Soon... I will be home soon.'
Author's note: I am well aware that "it was all a dream!" is a cheap trick that you ought not use in writing. However, this was too good a chance to pass up; Sherlock being as wrought up as he was in Baskerville. Plus, I haven't had any fic ideas stick to my mind for months. Clearly this one mattered to me.
This was today's version. I think I "wrote" two or three in my head before falling asleep last night.
If you're wondering what prompted this, my Tweep wrote these two fics, One last letter and Homecoming. WARNING: They WILL cause feels.
So I had to write a way out of it. I just had to. And yeah, mine is Johnlock if you squint too. To me it's always BFF: Best Friends FOREVER. 8)