The Empty Hearse

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 657 USERS: A-
I Don't Shave For Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock babbles about tuxedos, but I can't pay enough attention to him, because John Watson is stealing my soul even as he looks from Sherlock to Mary and silently pleads with her to wake him from this bizarre dream, so he can tell her, We are never getting curry from the local take-away again, because you will not believe the dream....

John realizes he's awake. He bows his head toward the table, but it springs back up, almost immediately. He jumps out of his chair. His body hasn't decided if he should hug Sherlock or deck him. Mary knows he's upset, but she hasn't quite worked it all out. John draws a sharp breath through his flared nostrils. He screws up the courage to again look at Sherlock, but only for a moment. I want to get him one of those Eclipse viewer thingies, so his eyes aren't damaged. No, I don't even know what that means, but that's the thought that prances across my brain. All the while, Mary's been asking John things like, "What is it?" Still looking at John, Sherlock offers her something approaching an answer. "Well, the short version is: not dead."

Finally, Sherlock stops waiting for John's reaction once he realizes this is John's reaction. Regret flickers across his face. "Bit mean, springing it on you like that, I know. Could have given you a heart attack, probably still will. But in my defense, it was very funny." To John's glower, Sherlock responds with a nervous chuckle. "Okay. It's not a great defense."

Mary can't take her eyes off Sherlock. She mutters things like. "Oh, no," and "You're...," but never finishes the thought. Sherlock answers her too quickly, each time. Finally, she says, "Oh, my God." Sherlock: "Not quite." Mary: "You died. You jumped off a roof." Sherlock: "No." Mary: "You're dead!" Sherlock: "No. I'm quite sure. I checked. Excuse me." He dips a napkin into a handy water goblet, then proceeds to wipe off his mustache. Looking at John, he asks, "Does uh, does yours rub off, too?"

John almost laughs, but when he swallows it down, the taste of bile in his throat kills the reflex. He's amused, then furious, then wounded and oh my word, Mary, stop your muttering, take your man home, wrap him in a blanket, feed him warm chocolate pudding and tell him none of this ever happened. Tell him he got some bad booze. Tell him anything to stop this emotional overload.

By the time Sherlock acknowledges that he owes John an apology, it's too late. John has already pounded his fist down on the table. "Two years." He thought his best friend was dead that whole time. He grieved that whole time. "How could you do that? How?"

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