Okay so what if Sherlock came back like this:
John Watson, Dr John Watson had been receiving therapy for months now. He could never bring himself to talk about what happened. The day his friend, best friend even, jumped from the top of the hospital building. He relived it every night over and over and over again in his dreams - nightmares. His eyelids were heavy with fatigue and he was developing bags from the nights when he couldn’t bring himself to go to sleep. It was, after all, easier to forget when he was awake. Sherlock saved him. Saved him from the loneliness he was suffering before, when he’d left the army and moved back to London but he couldn’t return the favour. It became hard for John to leave his house now, knowing he wasn’t going to a crime scene to study the science of deduction or the lab to watch Sherlock while he stared into his microscope.
But eventually John did it. He stepped outside his door to go to the one place he dreaded most. 221B Baker Street. Their old flat.
John walked up to the familiar black door and knocked. No answer. Mrs, Hudson must be out he thought to himself. He took out his old key. Nothing had changed since the fall. Mrs Hudson didn’t want to touch a thing in the apartment the friends had shared. ‘Helps me remember him’ she had said. For that reason also, she never sold the apartment on. John took out his key and placed it in the gold keyhole. He opened the door slowly and inhaling deeply, stepped inside. ‘Hello?’ John said, no answer. He had expected so. He began to climb the stairs, then he heard it. Quickly, John grabbed the banister to steady himself so that he wouldn’t fall back. It was a tune he had heard before and knew all too well. After all, it did haunt his dreams at night. The unfinished composition. Except, it kept going. A part John had never heard before. There was only one man John had ever met to compose in such a way the music moved you. One man that expressed every single emotion he felt into a piece that left you wanting more. However, this time the tune expressed something John had been feeling himself the past few months - Isolation. It was impossible. John had witnessed it himself the night of his death. He had seen it with his very own tear filled eyes, had been to the funeral, had buried him and had spent nights on end thinking about him.
John began to carry on up the stairs, each step sending a new tear down his unshaven cheek. He opened the door unprepared for what he was about to see.
Sherlock stood there in his lucky gown, with his violin in one hand and a bow in the other, very much alive. John felt his knees become weak as he collapsed to the ground in both shock, happiness and disbelief.
'Back already John?' Sherlock had stopped playing and began to speak as if nothing had happened, 'I hope you remembered to bring milk..'