m . i . n . d . g . a . m . e . s


o . n . e

john watson fell

The wind whipped around John's clothes, and his heart pounded in his chest. Behind him, Moriarty lay in a pool of his own blood; before him, a five story drop. His vision swam as a cab pulled up to the curb across the street, and he took several deep breaths. Out of the cab popped a tall figure in a trench coat, and John clenched his jaw. He fumbled for his cell phone, and dialed the number with shaky fingers. It rang several times, and the figure in the trench coat stopped.

"John," came Sherlock's voice. "Where are you?" He began walking forward again.

"Sh-Sherlock, don't move!" John said. "Don't – don't move, stay right where you are."

"What?" Sherlock said. He turned on his heel, scanning the crowd.

"Up here," John said. "Look up."

"Why? John, what's going on?"

"Just – just do it!"

The detective looked up, and the color drained from his face. John's feet were spread wide, and his unused hand was shaking, outstretched towards Sherlock.

"I have to do this," John said. "Please, I have to do this. Don't make it harder for me."

Instantly the gears began turning in Sherlock's mind. His eye caught a sniper in the building opposite with the scope pointed on him; John's body language suggested that he was going to jump. No doubt they were connected, but how? Why would he jump? Suddenly it clicked. Sherlock's eyes went wide and he took a step forward.

"John, don't do this, I can –"

"Don't move!" John yelled into the phone, his voice shaking. "Do – not – move!"

"I can save you if you'll just let me help you!" he replied, panic welling up inside him.

"You can't," John whispered, tears making their way down his face. "Not this time, Sherlock. I'm sorry." His arms stretched out to the sides, and he dropped the phone. Sherlock's lips parted as John's body tipped forward and plummeted towards the ground. He shut his eyes, sucking in deeper and deeper breaths, beginning to hyperventilate. A crowd gathered around John's body.

Shook from his reverie, he shoved forward, pushing them out of the way. He dropped next to his only friend's still form, and emotions... emotions he had never felt ripped at his chest viciously. His hand clenched around John's wrist, and he gritted his teeth as the tears began to flow.

"You selfish bastard," he whispered. "You can hear me, I know you can. Wake up. Wake up now!"

Nothing. A few medical personnel ushered him away, and judging by the grim looks on their faces, he knew that John was dead. He had taken his pulse, anyway; there was none. Ragged sobs rose in his throat, and he collapsed to the ground. His senses went wild, assessing everything and nothing, turning his mind this way and that, trying to take him away from the pain, and it didn't work.

"John!" he yelled after the medical personnel taking the body away. "JOHN!" He curled into a fetal ball, rocking back and forth. Gentle hands helped him up; Molly. Her eyes were red, but she seemed to be pulling herself together to help Sherlock.

"Come on," she murmured. "Come on. Let's get you back to the flat."

Voices, people moved around Sherlock, but he didn't acknowledge them. The police had been here earlier, to question him since he wouldn't leave, but he wouldn't talk to them. Mrs. Hudson had been attempting to take care of him, and Molly had been in and out. Now they were watching him, prostrate on the couch.

"He hasn't moved in days," the elder lady said. "There must be something we can do..?"

Molly knelt next to the detective and grasped his hand, though he didn't return the gesture.

"Sherlock," she murmured. "I-"

"Get out," he said hoarsely.

There was a moment of silence. He sat up abruptly, and pressed his hands to his forehead. "Get out, I said! Get out, get out, get out!" Quickly Molly ushered Mrs. Hudson down the stairs, closing the door behind her.

Sherlock stood, clenching and unclenching his fists, pacing heavily. He glared at John's chair, blurred by the tears forming in his eyes.

"You bloody idiot," he hissed, the hot tears escaping his eyes and streaming down his face. "I needed you. I needed you!" He spun a few times, running his fingers through his hair, then sitting heavily. He stared at the chair, gritting his teeth. Finally something snapped.

"Don't you UNDERSTAND?!" he screamed at the empty chair across from him, rising to his feet. "I could have SAVED you! You didn't let me!" He flung the nearest object at the chair, which happened to be John's laptop. The blood rushed to his head and he collapsed, breathing heavily. "You didn't let me.."

Again, silence fell on the room. Sherlock pulled John's laptop to him and opened it, clicking across a few things. John's blog popped up. A small smile tugged at Sherlock's lips as he browsed through A Study In Pink, but it quickly disappeared. Sherlock slammed the laptop shut and threw it on the ground. He took his harpoon and rammed it through the laptop, over and over, driving it clean through the floor once.

A soft knock came on Mrs. Hudson's door. She looked up from her book and frowned.. who could that be?

"Come in," she said.

Slowly the door creaked open revealing a puffy-eyed Sherlock, in his bathrobe. He just looked at her for a moment, blinking. She stood slowly, concern evident on her face.

"Sherlock, dear? Do you need something?"

Sherlock shuffled forward a few steps, then sank to his knees.

"He won't leave," he whispered. Mrs. Hudson got down so she was eye level with him and tenderly held his hand in hers.

"He won't leave where, dear?" she said softly.

"My mind palace. I tried to... but he.. he wouldn't.." His voice cracked with emotion, and Mrs. Hudson made a tutting noise, then carefully wrapped her arms around him.

"It's alright, dear. That's natural. When you love someone, they're always with you."

Sherlock buried his face into his landlady's shoulder, crying softly.

"My mistake, then," he murmured. "Caring. It never helped save anyone."

Mrs. Hudson pulled away. "That's not true, and you know it." She helped him to his feet and smiled sadly.

"Perhaps a nice little case would take your mind off it?"

"What d'you mean, you 'can't'?"

"I can't, Lestrade, it's not working. I can't think."

Lestrade hurried to catch up to Sherlock, who was walking away brisquely. "Look, is this about –"

"What do you think?" Sherlock snapped, stopping and turning. "John's not here. Everyone's expecting me to be brilliant as usual, and it's. Not. Working." His eyes flicked across Lestrade, and usually, where deductions would make themselves clear, it was blank. It was as if it was there, but just out of his reach. He made a hissing noise of annoyance and strode away, shoving his hands in his pockets and blinking rapidly.

Behind him, Anderson stood from beside the dead body, trotting after him.

"Sherlock," he said. Sherlock's jaw clenched.

"Look, as much as I loathe saying this... we need you. And you need this." He crossed his arms, though his eyes were sharp they carried the tiniest hint of concern. Sherlock stopped, and turned. "I can't," he said. His voice was strained with emotion, but his face was stone.

"Can't you.. just... go to your mind palace or something?" Sergeant Donovan piped up.

Sherlock walked away.

Before him, a solid grey slab of stone, with fresh black lettering spelling 'JOHN WATSON' decorating it. A single wreath of flowers addressed the bottom, and the dirt was freshly dug. Sherlock stood there, silent. Just looking. He pressed his lips together, and took a shaky breath.

"You tried to tell me," he murmured. "I didn't listen. I – I –" He looked away, sniffing and wiping his nose with his sleeve.

"I could have protected you, but I was too busy chasing Moriarty, I didn't watch you. I should have. I should have. I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry.." His voice pitched up, shaking.

Carefully he lowered himself to the ground. He sat there, occasionally smiling a little, a small chuckle escaping his lips. He kneaded his fingers into the ground, growing serious again.

"All I ever had was you," he whispered. "And I couldn't even save you from yourself." He hung his head, weeping softly, clenching a fistful of the dirt in his shaking hands.

From a distance, Molly and Lestrade stood, watching. "Think he'll be alright?" Lestrade said. Molly shook her head a little.

"He's broken. So brilliantly broken. John was his cure."

Lestrade dug his foot into the ground and sighed heavily. "Should we tell him?" he said.

"No," Molly said, alarmed. "N-not yet. You know what John said. We have to help him recover on his own."

"Look at him," Lestrade said, extending his hand towards Sherlock. He was now sitting absolutely still with his head angled upwards. A little bit of rain had begun to fall, and it didn't seem to bother him.

"I don't think he can recover."

currenly one shot,