Laid out like that, it seems rather dry, but it's one of the tenderest, most interesting and moving episodes I think I ever saw in that universe. It just has this sense of longing to it.
Anyway In my current status of "just because you can't actually write doesn't mean you can't dream up plot bunnies, I can't help imagining a Johnlock version of this. What if, instead of Sherlock actually coming back after his "death," John goes for decades of struggling against the shape his life takes in the absence of Sherlock I can imagine some sort of magic realism working well - Sherlock making a mephistophelean bargain where he actually died, or at least is forced out of the narrative as it were, and only gets bursts of life with John, becoming fewer and further between as John's life becomes less imprinted with Sherlock's spirit, as it were - as he builds a life that's premised on Sherlock not being there, I guess.
Which sounds rather more like "A Christmas Story" than what I was imagining. Maybe if it was twisted around so John made the deal - Sherlock's survival at the pool in exchange for not being in his life, then it going increasingly pear-shaped for both of them until finally John has to "die," snap back to the crisis point, and get them out of their stand-off in a different way.
I don't plan to write it, or work it out in any great detail. But somehow the possibility is a really nice one to sit with for a while.
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