A/N: Warning, warning. This isn't the happiest fic in the world. But please enjoy anyway. I don't own Sherlock.

His heart beats fast, racing double-time, and he is powerless to stop what is destined to happen. He tenses, and he leaps forward, perfectly in time with the speeding metal. He feels the bite as it rips through his skin, the stinging kiss of bullet through flesh, and he falls. He never planned to fall, of course. Falling isn't dramatic enough for him. In his mind, he's always imagined himself dying in an epic explosion or a hail of bullets. He never expected that he would die protecting someone he loved.

Had it come to that, or was he just delusional? Did he really admit that, beneath the mask, beneath the seemingly bullet-proof casing that encircled his heart, there was a part of him that actually cared? Somehow, he regretted not realizing this earlier. After all, it might have helped him. Maybe they'd never have gotten into this situation after all.

He lays on the ground, feeling the blood as it spills from his chest. He is sure that it's missed any major organ, but he will bleed out and he knows it. He can't help but frown in disdain at the dark red that undoubtedly is staining his favourite jacket. Even in his last moments, he will allow himself to be vain. Quietly vain, but nevertheless so.

"Sherlock! Stay with me!" A scream pulls him out of his thoughts and his eyes fly wide open. He stares up at the person who yelled. Inexplicably, he begins to smile, just a little bit. This only seems to frighten his partner in crime (partner in justice? he wonders this briefly) more and the man is down on the ground in seconds. He is a bit shocked to see John's favourite jumper ripped off and pressed against his wound. Funny, this wasn't exactly what he expected to see in his dying moments. He switches his gaze to John's face.

"Stay with me, I've called an ambulance," John is pleading with him now. Actually pleading. He can't really believe it, because this is nothing like the soldier and doctor he knows. He frowns a tiny bit, raising a pale hand to grip his friend's arm. The grip is not strong - he can't hold on tightly - but it will suffice. His eyelids are beginning to feel heavy and he lets them slide a fraction of an inch. John's shocked eyes raise to his instead of his wound and he is crying out, "No, no, no. Don't do this, Sherlock. Don't do this. Say something, stay with me. But don't do this. You can't…"

"John," he is actually surprised at how raspy his own voice is. He shouldn't be. After all, he's just been shot, just taken a bullet for the man begging him to stay alive. He opens his mouth to say more but cannot find the strength. Instead, he allows his eyes to close slowly and his grip loosens.

"Oh God, no, no, no, Sherlock, please…" John is actually crying now. He can't see it because his eyes are closed, but he can feel the tears dripping on his face. He can just imagine the interesting reds and pinks they might make when mixed with his blood. For a moment, he actually feels the urge to burst into tears himself, but Sherlock Holmes has more pride than that. He may be dying, may be letting the world slip away, may be leaving everyone and everything John had forced him to care for (damn him) behind, but he couldn't let go of who he was, not now.

So he lay in the darkened alley, back pressed against the pavement, eyes closed. His face is set but he is slipping away, unable to hold on the the surface. And just as the darkness reaches out, beckoning him towards it, he manages to whisper,

"Good bye."

A/N: Note, this is a one-shot but I may consider making it a two-shot showing John's reaction to all this. We shall see. Anyway, reviews are loved, and thanks to all who read this.