A/N: Well, somehow this evolved into a three-shot. I do actually have a fourth chapter for this but I'm not sure I should bother with it. But thanks to all who've read, reviewed, and favorited. :) I don't own Sherlock.
A true hero in the mind of others,
A puzzle in his own right.
Rest in peace, the world will miss you."
For the first time in months, he allows small tears to slip down his face as he reads these words. He hasn't truly moved on, not yet, and he doubts that he ever will. But he has forced himself to stay away from the white marble stone that marks Sherlock's resting place. He couldn't bare to be near to it, not when he was at his weakest and burst into tears at mere memories of the dead man. But today was a special day.
It marked the one year anniversary of the day Sherlock had died and… and Sherlock's birthday. He still felt guilty for this. They shouldn't have even been out chasing criminals on that day, but Sherlock had insisted, telling him that it was what he'd wanted for this birthday. Fine, he'd complied. And it had led them here: Sherlock to his death, and John to the depths of despair.
Clutched in John's hands are a variety of items. He's not even sure why he's brought them. Sherlock would've just laughed, informing him that he would have no need for material possessions in death, but it did make John feel a tiny bit better. Amongst the assortment of items, there is a letter and a small, yellow rose. He had almost brought Sherlock's favourite scarf as well but found himself unable to part with it. The scarf was one of the few things he'd chosen to keep as a reminder of his friend's death.
"Sherlock," he whispered, sitting down by the stone. He brushed his fingers over the dew-ladened grass. "I'm sorry, I really am. And I-I know you wouldn't want me crying and carrying on like I am, but I can't help it. I still can't believe you died. I honestly woke up, just this morning, ready to wish you a happy birthday-" he breaks off with a quiet sob "-and then I realized you wouldn't be here.
"221B isn't the same, you know. Not since you died. I've considered moving, and I'm sorry for that, but everywhere I look I can see your face. I don't know why this has hit me so much. Maybe because of who you were. Your own kind of person, and you made me care for you. You didn't even realize it, but you did. And I still have to say, I'm sorry, Sherlock. I really am."
More tears are falling down his face now. He can't find the words to say the rest of what he wants to. Instead, he lifts his fingers to brush over the gold-plated words on the headstone. He almost smiles at the words inscribed on it. The words there were partially his own, partially Mycroft's. And, though they both knew quite well that Sherlock did not believe in heros, it was so easily agreed that he deserved the title of one.
"I'm always going to miss you, you know that?" he whispers through the tears, fingers still clumsily tracing the letters. He puts down the items in his other hand, all except the letter. With a moment's hesitation, he withdraws his fingers from the headstone and begins to read the letter.
"Sherlock, I'm sorry for all this. I know I've apologized a thousand times, but I wish it was me who'd taken the bullet. You would've coped. You wouldn't have cried like I am, would you? And-and I know, they tell me I shouldn't feel guilty, that you wouldn't have wanted me to. But I can't help it. And so, my friend, I have one last thing to say."
He gulps back a fresh sob and forces his hands to stay steady.
A/N ^^ anyone sense a pattern here? ;)