they never showed sherlock getting off the plane so theoretically s4 could begin with him stepping back onto the tarmac, walking straight over to john, gripping his face between his hands and kissing him as if the world were about to end
The thought had occurred.
Sherlock gets off the phone with Mycroft and just breathes.
The plane is turning around; in four minutes or so, he’ll be back on London soil (not that he was off of it for very long). He’ll have a new mystery, a new game. Likely, he’ll have the promise of his old life back at the end of it—no time to worry about a petty murder charge after dealing with Moriarty.
He’ll have John.
Sherlock tilts his head back against the seat, his eyes closed, and thinks about the pathetic speech he made before he got on the plane. Sherlock is a girl’s name, how eloquent. It had made John laugh, at least: an image he had intended to carry with him until his inevitable death in Serbia, however long that took.
He has another chance, he thinks, and the thought makes him smile dryly. Fate is a ridiculous concept coined by people who are incapable of observing the goings-on in their own lives and are too stupid to fix it in a logical manner, but it comes to mind anyway that fate has given him chance after chance after chance to tell John the truth, and he has wasted every single one. Sherlock came back from the dead because of his love for John, twice if one counts both the sham and the literal event, and he still couldn’t be bothered to tell the truth before he boarded a plane for parts unknown.
Moriarty wasn’t the most dangerous man in London, he thinks suddenly. The concept of facing Moriarty hadn’t been half as terrifying as facing John.
The plane rattles onto the tarmac, stirring Sherlock from his reverie. The plane cruises to a halt, and after a moment, the hatch opens, spilling sunlight into the cabin.
Sherlock feels like he’s suspended in helium, curiously dizzy and weightless as he steps onto the stairway down to the tarmac. Down below, Mycroft stands by his sleek black car, peering up at him. Mary and John wait a few feet away. Mary’s expression is unreadable; John’s is a grin so brilliant that it could rival the sun they stand under.
Sherlock knows that he’s moving, though he doesn’t recall telling his feet to take him down the steps. He hits solid ground, and then the distance between him and those gathered waiting for him is shortening. He’s dimly aware of the presence of Mary and Mycroft, but his focus is on John. John may hate what he’s about to do, but he cannot, will not waste this opportunity, not when he’s wasted so many before, not when he came within a hair’s breadth of losing John forever not ten minutes ago—
John opens his mouth to speak as Sherlock approaches, then pauses when he realizes Sherlock isn’t slowing down. His face falls from elation to confusion. Sherlock can practically see the questions forming on John’s tongue, but his stride doesn’t break until he’s standing directly in front of John.
For some reason, it’s so easy now: take John’s face between his palms, close his eyes, lean in.
The kiss is awkward at first. Sherlock barely registers that John is still with shock, He anticipates a punch or a shove; he can feel the gazes of their witness burning into him.
But it is so, so worth it to feel the moment that John relaxes, huffing out a breath against Sherlock’s mouth, his lips turning soft and fitting against Sherlock’s with a precision that locks and keys could never accomplish. There’s a hand sliding across Sherlock’s shoulder and curling around his neck, pulling him down, closer. Sherlock strokes his thumbs down an unshaven jaw and feels the mirroring scratch of fingertips on the back of his neck. They kiss like the world is about to end, and it’s the most glorious thing he could ever imagine.
Sherlock could leave now. He could get back on that plane and survive six months of Serbia on just this memory alone, recalling John’s thin lips and the weight of his body and the tiny, bitten-off noise he makes at the shy touch of Sherlock’s tongue on the upper curve of his lip.
In the next ten seconds, Mycroft will interrupt with a clearing of his throat and some snide remark about being too busy to focus on the mission ahead. Mary won’t; she’ll be too shocked to say anything and won’t want to cause a scene. John will probably shy away, though Sherlock hopes that he won’t. In all likelihood, nothing will change in their future—too many factors to consider—but he knows now with absolute certainty that John loves him, too. That will have to be enough.
It won’t be, after awhile, but for now, it’s everything.