John sat in his chair, staring at his feet and ignoring Mrs. Hudson as she plundered around the flat tidying it up. He had gotten used to it by now, but it still felt as if He should be there, telling her not to touch his things (especially the eyes). John hadn't slept in two days and it was starting to show, bags under the eyes, excessive yawning and closing eyes for more than three seconds at a time.
John absently ran his left hand (no tremor) over his tired face, trying unsuccessfully to rub away the fatigue. His hand trailed over the stubble of his chin and continued until it reached just under his nose, which was presently occupied. It was prickly and foreign on his face, since it had only been there about 3 months, but he was slowly getting used to having a squirrel tail super-glued to his face. It was actually a moustache but Mrs. Hudson always referred to it as his "critter tail that won't budge."
"John?" he heard her voice calling him from his thoughts back to the present.
"Yes Mrs. Hudson?" he responded automatically, sitting up straighter and stretching a bit in his seat.
"Your phone went off." She replied as she bustled over to him and handed him his small black phone.
"Oh, I must not've heard it, thank you." he took the phone politely and looked it over, reading the engraving on the back briefly as a ghost smile threatened to appear on his face.
He could tell a whole life story, from looking at my phone, John thought to himself as he pushed down other memories threatening to resurface. It had only been 3 bloody months! Get a hold of yourself John! He kept repeating this as he looked at his phone and tapped the link to see text messages.
John dropped the phone.
All the muscles in his hands froze and then just stopped working, he didn't even hear the phone hit the ground, he just continued to stare at where the phon had been in his hands moments ago. His chest felt tight, his hands felt sweaty and he was nearly on the point of hyperventilating.
He had recognized the number.
After He... died... John had told Mycroft to take most of His things and do what he wanted with them. But he had kept His violin (on it's stand), His microscope (sentiment) and... his phone. So the number on the ID couldn't be the same, because John kept His phone in his bedroom. Realizing this John shook himself and picked up the phone. Then he stood and walked slowly and deliberately to the edge of the stairs.
Slowly, painfully he climbed, wanting it to be true, wanting him to be there, wanting him to be real, wanting him to be... not dead...
He stopped just outside the door, which was closed and opened the phone. The text was pale blue against the white of the screen.
Shave it off.
John silently pushed the door to his bedroom open and saw a tell figure in a coat and scarf looking back at him.
Phone in one hand.
Razor in the other.