John shifted his bag up higher on his shoulder. “Sherlock?” He rapped his knuckles on Sherlock’s bedroom door. “My car’s here, I’ve got to go.” He paused, waiting for a response. “Sherlock?”
Nothing. He sighed. “I know you’re not asleep, and I know you can hear me.” He also knew that Sherlock was standing on the other side of the door, his shoulders braced against the panel. Pointing that out would be rude, though. “Okay, I’ll call when I’m wheels down in country, so you know I’ve arrived safely. Text me, but remember the time difference; please don’t wake me up to ask where Mrs. Hudson is at two am local time. Mycroft says I’ll have full internet access, so send me an email if there’s something more complicated you need. The surgery has my number and email, they shouldn’t call here, but if they do, please remind them I’m out of town.
“There are frozen meals in the freezer, and the local take out numbers are on the fridge. Please eat. Don’t forget your pot of hair is still on the stove, and it smells bad enough simmering. If the water boils out of that and I come back to a burned out mess of human hair in our best saucepan, I will not be pleased.” He could almost mouth along with Sherlock, ‘it’s an experiment,’ but he didn’t. “Mrs. Hudson’s going to look in on you every day, she promised, and she will tattle you out if you’re smoking or indulging while I’m gone, you know she will.”
He paused, and rested his forehead against the door. “Sherlock. I’ve got to go. Will you please come out and say good-bye?” He waited, but there was only silence. Then, from the street, the car’s horn gave a polite honk, and John sighed. “I will be back in a week,” he said, calm and precise about it. “If there’s any delay, I’ll let you know immediately. I am coming back.” He felt silly saying it, of course he was coming back, but he’d learned by now that for all his deductive prowess, Sherlock did better when emotional things were made as plain as possible.
John straightened up, his fingers ghosting on the panel of the door. “I’ll see you soon, Sherlock. Please take care of yourself while I’m away, all right?”
Shouldering his bag, he turned away from Sherlock’s bedroom, making it all the way to the door of the flat before he heard the door open. “John?”
He glanced back, grinning. “Yes?”
Sherlock looked miserable, his face drawn up in a pout, his brows a furious line, his shoulders hunched and his arms crossed protectively in front of his body. “Be careful. Please.”