Title: Lest We Forget
Author: Jessie Blackwood
Pairing: gen
Fandoms: Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Note: This is for all the soldiers I have known, admired and loved, for those who have passed, those who are retired and those still serving, in particular Dudley (2 Commando, WW2, one of the originals, sadly now passed, father of my best mate), Tony (Dudley's son and brother of my best mate, retired), Phil (currently in the TAs and still serving), Steve (ex-para, retired), and Frank (SAS retired) in the UK and Mike (Tank Sergeant) in the US. Thank you for your dedication, guys. Heroes all.
Disclaimer: Characters owned by Moffat, Gatiss and the BBC. I don't own any of it, except maybe the idea for the story, etc. etc. etc., no infringement of copyright intended, no money being made, etc, etc. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Summary: Sherlock tries to surprise John on the one day he wants some privacy. Trouble is, nothing is ever that simple. John doesn't want to be surprised, and he has no intention of allowing anything to get in the way of his promise. When Mycroft also gets involved, John has had enough.


Lest We Forget

It was a bright day for November, crisp and clear, sun shining, blue sky overhead sporting white fluffy clouds. John Watson gazed at his reflection in the mirror as he was shaving and sighed. Five years. Five years since Afghanistan. Five years since his life had turned upside down. He scowled at himself and exited the bathroom. Sherlock was on the couch again, curled up facing away from him. John went into the kitchen and found himself some breakfast. He was careful to say nothing, not one word, to Sherlock. He had somewhere to be this morning and nothing was going to stop him. He knew the man had registered his presence but he neither moved nor said anything. John didn't encourage either.

He managed to return to his room without so much as a word to or from Sherlock and he was beginning to think he might just get away with this. He had managed it every year since being discharged, but since this was the year that Sherlock had cleared his name, saved his friends and returned with a flourish, John was not sure what would happen. He gazed at himself in the mirror again as he was adjusting his tie, then flicked an imaginary speck of dust off his lapel. He looked...haggard. Old. He allowed himself a grim laugh. It didn't actually matter, though, did it? He wasn't out to pull a bird today.

Shrugging on an uncharacteristically sober and hardly-worn black wool overcoat over his equally sober and hardly-worn charcoal-grey suit, he found he couldn't decide whether to take his cane with him or not. Pride warred with the possibility of being jostled. There was the added value that people took a little more care when they saw his limp. Didn't always work but he figured that with all the standing around he was about to do, not to mention the walking, he might need it anyway. He sighed, then picked it from its hiding place behind the door. Checked his watch... 08.30. Okay so far. He was as ready as he ever would be. He fingered the hard coldness of the metal in his pocket. Couldn't decide about that either. In the end, he left it in his pocket and went quietly out of his room and down the stairs...to find Sherlock waiting for him, fully clothed, scarf around his neck and that Bellstaff coat hanging on his lean frame with more style than anyone should be allowed, especially at that time in the morning.

"And where do you think you're going?" John demanded.

"Out," came the succinct reply.


"With you."

"No, you're not. Not today, Sherlock. I have an appointment."

"John, I know what today is."

"Then you'll know why you can't come with me."

"I also know that you'll probably need the distraction eventually, or at the very least, you'll need someone to talk to. You know how impossibly boring these things get..."

"Fine!" John could probably ditch him later. "One thing. Promise me one thing, Sherlock. When the time comes, just stay silent, okay? Not one word, you got that?" Sherlock's eyes met his and he nodded. "Fine, then." Damn, this was going wrong. He had wanted to be alone for this.

Two steps out of the door and down the road and Sherlock held his hand out for a cab just as a sleek black car pulled up alongside the curb next to them.

"Oh, God, noooo," John groaned. Could this day get any worse? This was precisely what he had wanted to avoid. He wanted a quiet day, to himself.

"Get in," Anthea said and waited, texting madly. When they didn't immediately avail themselves of the transport, two large men in dark suits got out and menaced them as only large men in dark suits can without drawing too much attention to themselves on a quiet street in London on a Sunday. Sherlock glanced at John with an unreadable expression and then slid inside.

"Great. I can't even do this without permission!" John exploded. "One day of the fucking year, that's all I ask. One bloody day..." he glared out the window as they drove off into the morning London traffic, seething quietly.

When the car pulled off the road behind Whitehall and into a courtyard in the centre of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, John's face registered shock. They were only a street away from the seat of power itself. The car pulled up and the men in front jumped out and opened the doors. John and Sherlock got out, looking around them as the car drove off again.

"What the hell are we doing here?" John asked nobody in particular. Nobody answered so it was probably just as well.

"Follow me, gentlemen," Anthea said and set off toward the entrance. She was waved through without so much as a word and the two men followed in her wake, ushered through the doors and up staircases, a rabbit warren that John knew he probably wouldn't find his way out of without help. Finally she opened a door and held it for them. Sherlock swept through and smiled genially at his brother, Mycroft, who returned the gesture. That was surreal. Normally nothing passed between the brothers apart from chilly stares and snide remarks. Today, though, they seemed in perfect accord about something.

"John," Mycroft said warmly, extending a hand. John glared and ignored the offered hand. "Ah, well, you're probably wondering what all this is about."

"Are you going to tell me?"

"All in good time, John, all in good time. Now, there's someone waiting for you," he said and turned toward another door that opened into an airy room decorated with plenty of 19th century portraits in heavily gilded frames, pieces of elegant antique furniture lining the walls. Mycroft ushered both men in, John first, Sherlock following, and followed in after them. As they entered a shout hailed them.

"Christ, lads, it's the Butcher!" John frowned and squinted against the light coming through the tall windows. Sherlock frowned at the title and glanced at Mycroft, who smiled vaguely.

"Madoc?" John could not believe his eyes. Jack Madoc stood there, large as life in his dress uniform, a look of glee on his face nevertheless.

"Christ, Doc! What the fuck are you doing here?"

"Wish I knew, Jack." He glanced at Mycroft. "Ours not to reason why, eh?"

"Nice tay see ye, Butch! You're lookin' good." Findlay Murray grinned, his Glaswegian brogue as familiar as the last time John had seen him, in the back of a helicopter being repatriated back home. He had been one of the lucky ones. He had only lost his foot.

"Doc, great to see you!"

"Hi, Doc, remember me?" the two younger men who jostled forward, grins plastered on their beardless faces, thrust out sun-browned hands to be shaken.

"Take it easy, fellas! Give the man some breathing room." Alex Mitchinson blocked his two younger compatriots with his bulk and thrust out a hand. "Good to see you, doc. How are you?" John realised he had missed Mitch's easy smile, his calm and friendly demeanor.

"Not bad. You?" John shook hands with them all and was roughly pulled into a bear hug by Madoc. They exchanged pleasantries for a while until John realised that Sherlock was standing behind him and sighed. "Lads, meet Sherlock Holmes. The world's only consulting detective. Sherlock, Lieutenants Findlay Murray, Tony Black, and Alex Mitchinson. The runt over there is Corporal Josh Sinclair and this Scouse Git is Jack Madoc."

"That's Major Scouse Git to you," he grinned and saluted, then reached to shake Sherlock's hand. "You're not as tall as I thought you were." Madoc was on a level with him, scrutinising him carefully.

"The precaution of a long coat and a small friend..." Sherlock smiled. "I also stand on a box occasionally..." The men laughed. Ice broken, John thought.

"Okay, spill. What are we all doing here?" John fixed Sherlock with a look. "You are entirely too fucking friendly with that brother of yours which leads me to believe you knew about this."

"We'll make a consulting detective out of you yet," Sherlock declared. "Although I should have thought that this was obvious, John. You disappoint me. We're here for the parade, you'll get a much better view from the balcony than from street level. Plus, Mycroft shipped in a few of your comrades to share it with you."

"That's...nice, but tell me he didn't pull half an operational unit off the Afghan patrols just to come say hello to me?"

"Not at all. They're doing me a favour at the same time, rest assured."

"Which is?"

"Time will tell, John. Don't fret. Everything is laid on today. Lunch..."

"Oh, don't!" John snapped. "Do not give me any of your...cryptic comments...today of all days. I am absolutely not staying to lunch." He ignored Sherlock's surprised look and walked to the window to see where they were. Front row seats in the balcony, straight over Whitehall. He leaned on the parapet and breathed deeply. He was on edge. It washed over him suddenly, erasing the partial good mood that had started on finding his compatriots waiting for him. He frowned and lifted his left hand. He was shaking again. Damn it, that bloody tremor was back. He fisted his hand and dug the nails into his palm.

"You okay, John?" Findlay asked quietly. He received a tight smile.

"I'll survive." He looked at the floor. "I had intended to go...you know...this morning... I promised, Fin."

"Aye, I know you did. Can't ye get that stuffed shirt to send us in his car?"

"That stuffed shirt would sell his own grandmother if it was necessary for National Security," John muttered. "I do not want any favours from him."

"Were you planning on meeting with Denise then?"

"I was hoping to. I wouldn't want her to think..." he stalled. Wouldn't want her to think I'd forgotten. That I didn't care any more.

"Call her?"

"I've tried. I keep getting number unobtainable and they won't put a call though reception unless it's from family. Besides, what could I say? I've been unavoidably detained because I've got front row seats for the main event. She should be here, Fin. She has more right than I do." Fin reached out and gripped his shoulder in support.

"You've every right, old son. She'd forgive ye, you know."

"I don't want her to forgive me, Fin, I want to be there..."

"Be where, John?" Sherlock was curious.

"You wouldn't understand," John snapped and stalked off. Sherlock watched him go with a frown. He turned to Fin but the man avoided his eyes and disappeared inside.

At 9.30am they were served coffee and biscuits but John didn't touch any. He was angry. He had specifically wanted to keep this day to himself. He was due at the chapel for 10.30 and although he had no intention of missing his appointment, he knew he probably wouldn't make it now. He had a promise to keep and this year he would break it for the first time in five years. Mycroft caught up with him on the balcony again, staring down the street. The cenotaph was almost directly outside. God knew what security level Mycroft must have to be able to commandeer this room. It was a prime spot for a sniper. John sat down, aware his leg was aching.

"You're under stress, Doctor. Is there a problem?" Mycroft was standing observing him from about ten feet away. "Is this not to your liking?"

"Honestly, no. I have...had...an important appointment I needed to keep. I won't make it now, so frankly it doesn't matter, does it?" he snarled, and forcing himself to his feet, he walked away. Anything to save himself from punching that self-righteous git in the face. If only he could leave but he wouldn't get ten yards without Mycroft's goons coming to escort him back.

"It seems the good doctor doesn't appreciate our kindness, dear brother," Mycroft commented, dryly. Sherlock was leaning on the parapet, glowering into the street. "Don't scowl. You'll upset Her Majesty."


"Don't!" he snapped as Sherlock opened his mouth. "I would find out what is bothering Dr Watson if I were you, Sherlock. He looks under stress..."


"Oh, come on, John, I'm sure you can reschedule. This is important..." Sherlock had come up beside him again on the balcony.

"Oh, and I'm sure I can't. You didn't even ask me, did you? No warning. No "do you have any plans for Sunday?". No, because any time you or that git of a brother of yours arrange something everybody else has to stop what they're doing and fall in with the party line. Well not me. I had an appointment. I'm going to miss it because of this. I promised, Sherlock. I am now going to have to break that promise to someone I care about..."

"Who is she?"

"Never mind..."

"John, how can I understand if you shut me out?"

"What's the matter?" Mycroft had appeared at the sound of raised voices.

"Okay, you want to understand? Right then. You know, today I wanted for me, I wanted privacy. But no, I'm not getting that, am I?" He glared at Mycroft. "You... you never do what your Brother wants. Why today?" Mycroft glanced over, exchanging a glance with Sherlock who was frankly looking worried. Let him! John was seething. It was nice meeting the lads again. Those guys were excellent friends and comrades. But this... John fingered the hard metal in his pocket again and frowned. Then very deliberately, he walked out. Security be damned, he thought.

Mycroft immediately called one of his men to him and gave him discreet orders. "Follow, keep him out of trouble, but allow him to let off a little steam. Keep him from doing any damage, give him a few minutes and then escort him back. Is that clear?"

"Sir." The man left at a jog, another one joining him. Mycroft sighed. Findlay Murray approached with caution and waited politely.

"Yes? What can I do for you... Findlay, wasn't it?"

"Yes, sir. Mr. Holmes, has the doctor gone? Is he alright?"

"No, he hasn't gone, exactly. He needed a little breathing space," Mycroft offered.

"Damn it, I don't know what is wrong with him," Sherlock frowned. "He doesn't make any sense. I knew he was coming here..."

"Excuse me, sir, but..."

"But what?"

"He was nay coming here."

"He wasn't?" Sherlock glanced at Mycroft but his attention was all on Murray.

"No, sir, he was nay. He was heading for Ongar. That's where he always goes."

"Ongar? What happens to be at Ongar?"

"St Martin's Church. It's where a...compatriot of ours is buried."

"And this has to do with today, how?"

"That's Dr Watson's business really. It's for him to tell you."

"Just tell us," Mycroft snapped.

"No," Murray snapped back, much to Mycroft's surprise. All the lads closed ranks on the Holmes brothers then, tight lips being the order of the day.


Watson walked the corridors, aware that he was being followed but that the men did not seem intent on returning him. He reached an outside door, unsure where he was, and stood just outside, breathing the cold clear air. He leaned against a railing and slumped. Only one day, that's all he asked. It wasn't a big ask either, just one single day...


"So why is Ongar so important?" Sherlock pressed. "John said he made a promise."

"He did. To a dying man. Look, I don't want to say more..."

"Tell them, Fin," Madoc said gently. "If John takes exception, he can take it up with me."

Murray glanced up at him and frowned. "You want the responsibility, you tell him. With respect, sir..." Murray added as an afterthought. The two men traded exasperated glances and Madoc took a breath and let it go slowly.

"Dr Watson is not just a doctor, you know," he began. "He didn't just give us our shots and hand out condoms and warn us about STDs. He was a surgeon, you do know that, don't you?" Sherlock opened his mouth, no doubt to make some cutting remark, but Mycroft elbowed him in the ribs. He shut his mouth with a grunt, exchanged a glare with his brother and then refocused on Madoc and simply nodded. "He was one of the people who put us back together when we got damaged," Madoc said, ignoring the altercation. "We nicknamed him the Butcher, traditional name for a medic in the army. Actually he was anything but. John is very good at what he does but the name stuck anyway. No matter how brilliant he is though, sometimes even he can't work miracles."

"Believe me, I was one of the medical orderlies," Murray added. "I've seen him at work. He's a damn fine surgeon, but Madoc is right. He can only do so much at the end of the day."

"He lost someone?" Sherlock suggested. Murray grimaced and nodded.

"We went out on a nighttime evac, six men down. One of them turned out to be one of John's friends from school. The lad was six hours in theatre and John was the attending surgeon. Bill Graham was his name."

"He died?"

"John tried everything he knew. I watched him, I know how long he fought, but Bill died anyway. Flatlined three times, every time John brought him back. In the long run, though, the internal damage was too great."

"That wouldn't sit well with the good doctor," Mycroft murmured.

"It didn't, believe me," Murray said softly. "John made a promise to Bill before he died, though. He told him that he would go see his sister, Denise, and make sure she was okay and he would go every year on Remembrance Sunday, and say a prayer for him. John isn't a religious man but Bill was, and John Watson is an honourable one, so he keeps his promises."

"And I've made him break that promise. I didn't see..."

"John isn't a very demonstrative or communicative man either, sir. I'm not surprised you didn't know," Findlay said.

"I see he's not wearing his gong either," Madoc commented. "Again."

"Gong?" Sherlock asked.

"His medal. Conspicuous Gallantry Cross," Murray said. "Hardly ever wears it. He's always believed he didn't deserve it. I was with him on the mission where he got that. It was when he got shot. You can believe me, he deserves it alright. Wounded, under fire, he still continued to work on the injured men we'd come to evacuate, regardless of his own life or injuries." He sighed heavily. "Denise will forgive him for missing today. She's a lovely lass, just struggles to cope with life. She has good days and bad days, but John knows she loves today. She remembers her brother the hero, it makes her proud..."

"Would she mind coming here, do you think?" Mycroft asked.

"I doubt it, but she never goes anywhere without a carer. You'd need to clear it with them."

Thoughtful, Mycroft retreated and drew Anthea to him, conversing in low tones that the others could not hear.


After a few minutes, one of Mycroft's men poked his head out of the door and asked politely if John would come back inside.

"You have orders to restrain me if necessary, I suppose." John sounded resigned.

"I personally believe that being reasonable gets you further. Harry Francombe, Doctor Watson." The man offered a hand. John shook it amicably enough. "I'm one of Mr Holmes' chief negotiators. I'm rather more used to hostage situations but I can adapt. So, what will it take to get you to come inside again?"

"You could just ask me."

"Simple enough," Harry grinned. "So, will you come back inside?"

"Not just yet," John replied. "Besides, I thought you weren't supposed to negotiate with the enemy?"

"On the contrary, I am here to effect the best possible outcome," Harry said, cheerfully. "For all concerned parties. In this case, it means keeping everybody happy. Mr Holmes has put his trust in you, you know, allowing you out here."

"He has?"

"Oh yes, otherwise you would have been dragged back immediately. No, it's obvious to me that he trusts you. At least, I know he's had his men follow you, but he hasn't ordered them to restrain you or keep you contained."

"That's kind of him."

"So, what would it take?"

"A fast car...no, maybe a helicopter, it's faster. I want to get to Ongar and keep my promise. That's all I wanted from today."

"Come inside and we'll see what we can do."


Less than half an hour later Sherlock sat down in front of John where Harry had left him while he went to converse with Mycroft. They had pretty much left him to his own devices but Mycroft's men were keeping an eye on him now. John was pretty sure he wouldn't be allowed to run off again.

"Why didn't you tell me you've been decorated?" Sherlock asked gently.

"You make me sound like the sitting room," John replied, attempting humour. It fell disappointingly flat. "I only did what anyone would have done," John defended. "I was just doing my job."

"Above and beyond, John. They don't decorate people for just doing their jobs." John shrugged and leaned back, staring at a crack in the ceiling. "I wouldn't make a big fuss, you know me. But you should wear it. You're an amazing man. Everyone should know just how amazing. Put it on, for me?"

For a moment, John was speechless. "You think I'm amazing? Me?"

"Yes, is that so hard to understand? Anyone who puts up with me on a regular basis has to be amazing." John blinked, then barked a laugh and shook his head in resignation.

"No. Sorry, Sherlock, but no. It's not me. I didn't..."

"You've got it with you though?"

"How did you know?"

"You keep putting your hand in your jacket pocket and stroking something. No double entendre intended. Whatever it is, it's too small to be your gun, it doesn't weigh your jacket down on one side and it isn't visible, it doesn't alter the line of your coat. When you touch it, you get a look of concentration on your face, as if you can't make up your mind what to do. You're conflicted about it."

"Very clever. Who told you anyway? Murray?"

"Yes, but he wouldn't tell us why you were making such a fuss about today. Mycroft insisted so Madoc told us." John sighed.

"Did he tell you about Denise?"

"Yes. Look, I'm sorry, John." Sherlock sounded genuinely contrite. "I've been planning this for months. I wanted you to have a great view of the day, because I knew you did something every year, just not what. I had no idea..."

"You could have asked."

"Wanted to surprise you. That's what friends do, isn't it?"

"Yes, I guess. Look, this is hard for me, Sherlock. It's bloody difficult to try to teach you all the nuances of emotions and how they work. So much is based on playing a situation by ear and not working on logic and pattern and prediction. It's totally the opposite of what you do. Emotions change on a whim. They're unpredictable. On the one hand, people pull surprise parties, on the other hand some folks hate them. On the one hand it is good to ask if someone has something they want to do on a particular day but on the other that can ruin a surprise. Telling you what to do is virtually impossible, because there is so much that is based on...well, available data. It's how you interpret it that matters." John sighed and smiled. "I'm sorry too. I guess I shouldn't be too angry, you did this for me and it's an amazingly nice gesture. Thank you."

"You should wear your medal, John. You deserve it," Sherlock urged.

"Wear it for me, then? And for Bill?" John turned in surprise. Mycroft was shepherding a pretty, dark-haired woman into the room, her brown eyes alight with wonder. A youngish broad-faced man followed her, looking bemused. John shot to his feet and closed the gap.


"Sh, John. It's good to see you. Mr Holmes explained what happened."

"He did?"

"Yes, John," Mycroft interjected. "I took the liberty of informing Miss Graham about your circumstances. After all, you couldn't very well refuse a royal invitation." Mycroft smiled and John nodded.

"They sent a helicopter for me, of all things," Denise was excited. "Mr Holmes cleared it with Ashlands and they sent Sam with me. Are we in time?" John checked his watch.

"Plenty of time. Have you been offered refreshments? Mycroft, something non-alcoholic for Miss Graham, maybe?"

"Tea, coffee, fruit juice?" Mycroft turned on the genial host act and smiled ingratiatingly.

"Tea would be amazing, thank you." Denise turned back to John and then gazed around the room. "This is awesome." She giggled like a fifteen year old and shook her head. "Can't believe that this is real..." She walked across the room to peer down into Whitehall. "Oh my god, look at the view... Bill would have been so proud." She turned back and gripped John's hand. "Thanks for inviting me, John. This is the best way to remember him. Go on, please? Put your medal on, for him?" John frowned.

"I don't know, Denise. I mean...he deserved them more than me."

"He got one, posthumously. Look, I'm wearing it for him. So come on, John, wear it for us. Be proud of what you did. I know you couldn't save him, but it wasn't your fault. You tried your best and after all, you saved so many more. Now, let's be proud for him and stand together?"

John fetched his hand out of his pocket, the silver cross on it's lilac ribbon glistening in his palm. Denise took it gently from him and pinned it carefully to the left breast of John's dark coat. "There," she said, patting it. "Perfect."

The two minute silence was the best John had ever kept. Sherlock remained quiet the whole time. John was in good company, he had kept his promise in a roundabout way and he saw the whole procession from a superb vantage point. Sherlock was mildly surprised when, at the end of the two minute observation, John and his compatriots all silently came to attention and saluted.

"Hammal Chandra," John said softly.

"Dingo McCall," Madoc murmured.

"Bob Barclay," Fin said. "Ben Williams."

With a shock, Sherlock realised they must be reciting the names of their fallen comrades.

"Tom Dennison," Tony added. "Danny Sanderson."

"Grant Fletcher," Alex murmured. "Andy Victor."

"Whisker Pritchard," Josh sighed.

"Bill Graham," John added, looking at Denise, who had tears in her eyes but was smiling proudly.

"Lest we forget," Madoc said, his voice thick with emotion.

"Lest we forget," the rest chorused, and Denise joined in.

"Lest we forget," Sherlock murmured, almost inaudibly. Although he felt sure John had heard, if his sharp glance across at Sherlock meant anything at all. Sherlock broke the gaze first. He suddenly felt as if he were intruding, although John's gaze had been neutral. Sherlock wondered if his name had been on John's lips in those intervening years. He decided he didn't want to know.

When they went back inside, dinner had been brought in for them all. The table had been laid, more seats brought in and the waiters served an amazing Sunday lunch. From the other side of the table, Sherlock watched John surreptitiously, seeing his animated expressions and gestures as he spoke to his mates. He hadn't been this relaxed for months, maybe since Sherlock returned. John looked up and met his eyes. Sherlock froze, uncertain. He felt sure the doctor's expression would change-possibly for the worse-when he clapped eyes on his flatmate and then Sherlock would be alone again.

John found he was really hungry. The food was delicious, the lads were relaxed and everyone was talkative and joking, and even Denise was having a good day. They had all observed their remembrance ritual, something they hadn't done in a long time, although John had kept it privately. It renewed their bond, the shared bond of combat, a bond John had missed along with the war. He was sure he had seen Sherlock mouthing the words as well, as if he wanted to be part of it, part of their group. He had looked...diminished, somehow. Solitary. Sad. John looked up and met Sherlock's eyes. Oddly the man looked almost scared. He raised his eyebrows in an are you alright gesture, subtly twitching his head on one side in emphasis. Sherlock frowned, then brightened, nodded once and smiled a small uncertain smile. John smiled more broadly, a gentle smile loaded with friendship and happiness. Sherlock visibly relaxed with relief. John nodded and pulled his attention back to something Denise had said, ending their silent conversation. He was mildly surprised that Sherlock had managed to pick up on the non-verbal clues there. There was hope for him yet.

Sherlock felt relief wash though him. John wasn't mad with him. He wasn't unhappy. Mycroft was watching him and he quickly schooled his features into a mask again. Too late of course. Mycroft had seen and understood the expressions fleeting across his face.

"Give him time, brother dear," he said gently. "He won't stay mad at you forever."

"He said it would take him time to forgive me, when I came back. He was hurt that I didn't trust him."

"You couldn't. We both know that John is not a good actor. He knows it too. He understands why we didn't trust him but his sense of pride is hurt. As I said, he'll come around. In fact, I think he may just be turning the corner as we speak..." They both looked over toward where John sat joking with Jack and Fin.

"I hope so. I actually do trust him, Mycroft," Sherlock said thoughtfully. He sounded surprised at his own admission. "Just not with acting. Than man cannot lie to save his life..."

"John is an honourable man," Mycroft stated, although whether or not he approved was not revealed in his tone. He couldn't resist a small self-satisfied smile though. There was hope for Sherlock yet.