Disclaimer: One day, maybe, I'll move to England and become a part of Steven Moffat's crazy group of writers. Until then, I do not own Sherlock or any of its amazing characters or any of its past reincarnations.
Warning: Major, major, major spoilers for The Reichenbach Fall. DO NOT READ if you haven't watched the episode or if you do not want to be spoiled. Don't say I didn't warn you.
So, this is the beginning of a three-part story that I'm working on, all centering around Sherlock's return to London. Part one is from Lestrade's point of view. Part two is going to be from John's. And part three is going to be from Sherlock's.
A Good Man
Chapter One: Lestrade
"Because Sherlock's a great man. And I think that someday, he might even be a good one."
It had been over a year since Lestrade had spoken those words to John, but they still rang as clearly in his mind as they had the day he had said them.
And here, on the pavement below St. Bartholomew's Hospital, was the proof that the day Sherlock became a good man had come, though Lestrade found himself wishing that it hadn't come at such a terrible price.
The rain that had been threatening to fall all day was now soaking any person stupid enough to walk outside without an umbrella. Lestrade himself was already drenched to the bone, staring at the spot where hours ago, the great Sherlock Holmes had finally met his end.
The blood had long since been washed away, probably circling some drainage ditch beneath the detective inspector's feet by now. The only true evidence that showed something terrible had happened here was the bright yellow police tape blowing haphazardly in the strong wind.
Lestrade had heard what happened to Sherlock long after the body had been taken into the morgue. He had arrived on scene twenty minutes after the police had taken the witness' statements, only to find an incoherent John Watson sitting against the building, staring at the dark red patch that was Sherlock's blood.
Lestrade had never, in his many years as a detective, seen someone as broken as John Watson was in those hours after Sherlock's suicide. It was as though someone had singlehandedly ripped the heart out of him and forced him to watch the world burn down around him.
"He was innocent," was the only thing Watson said that made any sense at all the entire time Lestrade stood there.
At first, Lestrade had thought John crazy, deluded by the same story that everyone else had been. There was more than ample proof that Sherlock had been a fraud—wasn't there? There was no way a man could make such brilliant deductions out of such small proof. Donnavan had been right—it was Sherlock who had been committing the crimes, and then coming up with wild schemes that were so intricate that Lestrade and the others had no choice but to believe him. The evidence provided by Rich Brook showed that Moriarty didn't exist, that it was all a game Sherlock had created.
But the longer Lestrade stood in the pouring rain, the more he realized John wasn't the one who had been duped—it was Lestrade. It was all of the people who believed the cock and bull story the press issued. Because there was no way Sherlock could have committed all of those crimes. He had been an arrogant, egotistical, insane sociopath, but Lestrade didn't believe for a second that Sherlock had been a bad person.
What really sold Lestrade on the idea that Sherlock had been innocent, however, was the tape recorder he found long after John had left the scene. It hadn't been there before—that much was obvious by the lack of water damage from the rain—but it wasn't when it appeared that was the issue. It was what the tape recorder contained.
It contained the all too familiar voice of Sherlock, which was surprisingly hard to hear after the man's suicide, and the less familiar sound of Moriarty's voice. The words were muted, but clear.
"That's your weakness," Moriarty said, his voice betraying his utter insanity. Lestrade shivered at the sound of it. "You always want things to be clever. We'll finish the game, one final act. Glad you chose a tall building. It's a great place to do it."
"Do it? Do what? Ah…" Sherlock's voice trailed off in the manner it always did when he made a brilliant deduction. It was obvious now those deductions had never been faked. There was no one here to put an act on for and he was still deducing. "My suicide."
Lestrade froze at those words, spoken in that defeated tone of voice. Sherlock's suicide wasn't his choice.
It all made sense now. Lestrade had never been the one to picture Sherlock committing suicide—the man was far too fond of himself to do something that mundane—and if it hadn't been for John Watson's rather violent depiction of how Sherlock had called him and told him he was going to commit suicide, Lestrade doubted he would believe that Holmes hadn't been pushed.
"Genius detective proved to be a fraud," Moriarty sounded gleeful, as though nothing else in the world made him happier than proving Sherlock to be a fake.
Lestrade felt like an idiot.
Don't worry, Greg, a voice in his head that sounded convincingly like Sherlock's. You all are idiots.
"Read it in the papers," Moriarty continued. "Fairytales."
Damn the press. That had always been one of Lestrade's beliefs. The press was always biased. It should always be read with a grain of salt. He knew that, yet at Anderson and Donnavan's insistence, he believed the false words of the papers anyway.
He was brought back to the reality of the tape recorder when Sherlock spoke once more.
"I could still prove that you created an entirely false identity," he said. His voice was desperate, almost as if he was bargaining for his life. They were spoken without conviction, as though he knew that Moriarty wouldn't take the bait.
It added more to the belief in Lestrade's mind that Sherlock hadn't jumped willingly.
"You could kill yourself," Moriarty sounded bored now. "It's a lot less effort."
Sherlock, for the first time since Lestrade could recall, sounded surprised. "You're insane."
"You're only getting that now?" Moriarty demanded, sounding almost disappointed. "Let me give you a little extra incentive. Your friends will die if you don't."
Lestrade's breath caught in his throat. Of course. The one person in the world that could bring out the humanity in Sherlock was…
The single word was spoken with so much emotion that if Lestrade didn't know any better, he would have sworn it wasn't Sherlock.
"Not just John," Moriarty added vindictively. "Everyone."
Again, there was that powerful emotion, the one that cemented the beliefs that Lestrade had about Sherlock being a good person.
"Everyone," Moriarty repeated, confusing Lestrade.
Who else was there? It was clear enough that the Holmes brothers had a twisted relationship. While Mycroft was interested in keeping Sherlock alive, Lestrade doubted the feeling was mutual.
Greg's eyes widened, unable to believe the quiet, whispered admission. Sherlock had counted him as a friend.
The detective inspector swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat, feeling ashamed for having bought into Donnavan and Anderson's twisted story about Sherlock being a criminal. Here was ample evidence that the man obviously wasn't who they thought he was.
Moriarty was talking again, outlining a horrific plan for John, Mrs. Hudson, and even Lestrade to be taken out by three simple gunmen.
"There's no way of stopping them now," the criminal mastermind said. "Unless more people see you jump."
Lestrade jammed the stop button on the recording device, unable to listen to anymore. It was obvious now why Sherlock had jumped, but the reason was so heartbreaking after everything that had happened that Lestrade didn't want to believe it was true. It was a day he had hoped would come, but it came far too late.
Sherlock had become a good man, but in the end, it had killed him. He had sacrificed himself to save the people he cared about. And Lestrade had somewhere along the way had luckily become one of those people.
Guilt crashed over him in white hot waves, threatening to consume him.
Sherlock had died to save him.
After everything that had happened, after Lestrade turning his back on Sherlock and arresting him for god's sake, Sherlock had still found it in himself to not want Lestrade dead.
And now, as a result, the world's greatest and only consulting detective was gone.
There was a small piece of paper taped to the back of the tape recorder.
Richard Brook = Richenbach. There was no code. Molly knows everything. Next time, don't be such an idiot, Greg. –SH. PS, don't tell John. He needs to believe that I was a fraud.
Lestrade glanced up, his admittedly wet eyes wide as he glanced around the rain soaked crime scene. He was just in time to see a tall man in a long, black coat go sweeping around a corner.