|A Study In Regret
Author: Riandra PM
Dedicated to Aleine Skyfire. What if events had turned out for the worst after Moriarty's death at Reichenbach? Character death, drug and torture references. First draft finished, new content for last chapter!Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Sherlock Holmes & Inspector Lestrade - Chapters: 32 - Words: 74,566 - Reviews: 114 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 08-24-12 - Published: 03-29-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7970217
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
What if the worst had happened after Professor Moriarty's death at Reichenbach Falls?
Never before has victory tasted so bitter... One simple, disastrous error throws Sherlock Holmes from his intended Hiatus into a torturous journey of sorrow and remorse. Far from home, hunted ruthlessly by his foes, broken in body, heart and spirit, the haunted detective fights to survive the single most tragic failure of his career... a fight he cannot win alone.
With old and new companions beside him, and a threat equally as deadly as Moriarty in pursuit, Holmes must find a way to continue on without his greatest friend, while doing his utmost to preserve the rest of his beloved adopted family from a similar fate...
He is never entirely certain which pain is worse: the cruelties delivered by those who guard him, or that which is inflicted by his own mind and heart, fueled by soul-searing memory. He has no need to choose between them; there is an abundance of both as days and nights merge into a single constant blur of agony. But there are times when he is almost grateful to his captors for subjecting him to yet another round of their sadistic entertainment. At least then he can focus on the here and now, a distraction from the nightmares which plague his every moment, waking and sleeping.
John Watson... my beloved friend, dear God, I cannot bear it... is dead, shot through the heart... that noble heart, it held enough compassion for even such an undeserving wretch as I… by Colonel Moran at Reichenbach Falls. No need of his brother's eidetic talents; every detail of that horrific moment is crystal clear, unclouded by any amount of time or drugs. How long has it been? A week, a year, an eternity... it makes no matter, time is meaningless to a man who has lost all hope. Were Mycroft or anyone else to miraculously come to his rescue now, he would not even make a move to follow. The prison of his own guilt is far stronger than his shackles, more torturous than anything his gaolers could have devised.
It should have been me... the sound of water thundering in his ears... no, not again... the kiss of mist on his brow, scrapes from the climb stinging his palms and knees... let me be... Watson's frantic calls to his friend as he gazes into the abyss in growing despair, the clatter of stone on the cliff face when Holmes' foot dislodges a loose rock... please God, make it stop... Watson's head jerking upwards in surprise, the joy of seeing Holmes alive and well blossoming in his face... for the love of heaven, show me no more... the red stain blossoming on the doctor's breast as Moran's bullet strikes true, the fear and understanding growing in his friend's eyes even as their light slowly dims... Watson! It should have been me, Watson, I am so sorry! My cursed arrogance… I should never have allowed you to follow me! I failed you one time too many, my dearest friend, a thousand times too many!
He buries his face in his tattered hands, broken frame wracked with sobs. Burning eyes betray him yet again, as all tears have long since run dry. He has shed enough of them for a waterfall of his own, but one that is powerless to plunge him into the oblivion he craves. He would never have thought that he could envy James Moriarty, but the man at least received a death of his own choosing, at the hands of his most respected enemy. For that poor mercy he would give his very soul, if he could only reach down and reclaim it from that seething cauldron where it lies, torn and bloodied, in the heart of the best and wisest man he has ever known.
Forgive me, John... forgive me...
To be continued...