Greg Lestrade stepped out of his car slowly, shutting the door behind himself. He turned, looked out over the cemetery, and asked himself one more time what he was doing here. No self-respecting policeman would visit the grave of someone who had done something as terrible as the things the newspaper said Sherlock had done. None of them would.
He glanced around, not seeing anyone around. He reached up, pulling off his sunglasses, and slid them into his pocket. Just get it done and go. He thought. But something still stirred in his heart when he thought about what he was doing.
The Detective Inspector began walking into the cemetery. He had nothing to bring but himself. He didn't bring any flowers. Somehow he still wasn't sure about the man, but he wasn't going to bring flowers. Even if he did, he could almost hear Sherlock telling him that it would be a pointless waste of time, and that they'd just rot anyway. Greg let out a slow breath.
The grave was near him now, and he stopped. It was black, and smooth, the gold lettering making it as hard and cold as Sherlock had been. He swallowed, staring down at the freshly dug dirt. He knew what he should do, he knew what he was there to do... But he found himself unsure of where to begin. For the past few days his mind had been swimming with what had happened. He wasn't completely shocked by the idea of Sherlock tricking them, in all honesty the man was so brilliant there was really no way to know what went on inside his head. Lestrade had considered the possibility of being tricked nearly every time Sherlock pulled his stunts, every time he could figure out something like a mans relationship with his parents based on the shampoo he used. But to think that it could be true... He thought. I don't know. I just...
"I just don't know," He found himself muttering. Greg glanced around once more, then turned back to the grave. "I honestly don't," He brought a hand up to his forehead. "You were always so damn brilliant, it was infuriating. To think that it had been fake..."
Donovan and Anderson's words echoed in his mind once again. They were two respectable smart people, and everything they said made sense to Greg. Perfect sense, actually.
"No," He said quietly. "It doesn't make sense." He took a long pause. "Sherlock, none of it makes any sense." He ran the hand threw his hair, then stuck it out as he spoke as if holding a conversation. "You're... You were brilliant. A genius. You couldn't have been faking it, you just couldn't have." He found himself turning on his heel away from the grave, looking up to the sky then back down. "But you said you were. After all of it, you said you'd been faking." He let out a slow breath. "Maybe I'm just stuck in denial." He turned back to the grave. "Is that it, Sherlock?"
The Detective let a moment pass like there would be an interruption. "I bet you'd be laughing at me right now if you were," He cleared his throat. "Alive." He felt his heart stir, but he swallowed. He was a man, an adult. He wasn't going to cry. "I just don't get it," He said in a frustrated voice, taking a step forward. "How could you have tricked us all? How could you have convinced us all you were a genius without being one yourself? And that just doesn't make any sense!" Greg found his hands in fists. And loosened them. "Look," He said a bit quieter. "Tricking us is one thing. But creating Moriarty, killing him, and throwing yourself off of a the h-hospital?" He found himself choking for a moment, then stopped himself. "No. It just couldn't be." He put his hand on his head again. Damn, this is because of that stupid denial stage of grief again isn't it? He thought. I'll probably wake up in a week in a different part of mourning and believing that you... that you did all of those things...
This time he had to swallow and wait a moment for his vision to clear. He sniffed, letting his hand fall to his side. "I don't know, Sherlock, I'm not some genius like you were, or pretended to be. I don't know why I'm saying this." He let out a breath. "I just can't imagine you doing this," His tone took on frustration once again in his one-sided conversation. "I don't care if part of you was fake, but you cared about John. I saw you after that bloody cabbie, I tore that page right out of my notes because I thought you were trying to protect John and I wanted to help you!* Now I know you lied to me about the shooting because..." He paused. "Well I'm not sure why. But then again, I wasn't sure of very much around you."
Greg paused for a while, his eyes on the grave, his head spinning. The frustration and confusion in his voice pouring out of him, he was talking much more than he would in normal converation. "You couldn't have faked Moriarty. Even someone like you wouldn't have wrapped John in Semtex." He folded his arms across his chest. "But that's the only explanation. If Moriarty was already dead, and he was a criminal mastermind, why would you... do what you did? There isn't any other explanation that makes sense."
"But then again," Lestrade continued. "You had an explanation for everything. Is there an explanation for this, Sherlock? Is there an explanation that I'm just not seeing?" He thought for a second. "What is it you used to always rebuke me with? That I see and don't... what was it... observe? Is there some explanation that I'm just not 'observing?'" After a while of silence, he found himself squatting down to a kneel besides the gravestone. "What am I missing? Can't you explain it to me? You used to always have an explanation. Always. Please, Sherlock, explain to me what's going on."
Greg couldn't stop himself now, and brought his hands up to his eyes. A few small tears came out of his eyes. As years of cases and situations of being saved by Sherlock's 'Deductions' flew through his mind, he found himself sniffing. He couldn't imagine the man he'd worked with so long doing this. Sherlock wasn't some perfect angel. He was flawed. But exploding an old woman? Forcing an actor to take the wrap for it? Out of boredom? Even Sherlock wasn't that off. He let out a shaky breath. "Explain what I'm missing," He whispered. I cared about you Sherlock, I was concerned about you. I knew you better than most people until John came. I knew you.
"Goodness sakes, I went to John's Christmas party!" He said. "I was there because I thought you were..." He was lost for words. A friend? Years of experience told him that Sherlock had enemies, not friends. An acquaintance? No, he knew Sherlock better than that.
"My ally." Lestrade said. Slowly, steadily, he stood up. "I considered you my ally. I cared about your well being, and you seemed to care about mine. I thought I trusted you, I thought I knew you." He brought his hand to his face again. "And now I don't know what to think. And it's driving me mad. You killed yourself," Another tear came out of his eye with the confession. "I guess that means you don't care about us. How could killing yourself help any of us?" He let out a breath, but deep down despite his words he knew that suicide had more dies than someone's relationships. We couldn't be the only reasons he did it.
"John's torn up. I haven't seen him since..." Greg brought a hand up to his face. "God, I haven't seen him since I arrested him." He frowned. "I should apologize for that, but you know I didn't have a choice." He shuffled his feet in the grass, lowering his arm. "To be honest I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do here. How do I 'say a few kinds words' when..." I'm not even sure who you were any more?
Greg frowned. "I didn't want to arrest you, Sherlock. The higher ups, they uh... found out about me hiring you, and insisted I bring you in. They said I was stupid. Sort of like you used to." The memories made him frown more, but not out of frustration, out of nostalgia. "I didn't want to do that, but we had to question you. I didn't mean to push you to... to what you did..." He wiped away one more tear. "Oh god, Sherlock, I'm sorry if this is my fault. John isn't answering his phone, I'm sure he isn't going to speak with me now. And I can't talk to Anderson or Donovan, you know what they thought of you. Though I suspect even the two of them feel a tad remorseful." He cocked his head to the side. "I guess I can admit anything here. I feel horrible. There's no point hiding it from someone who's dead. I feel like it was me... If I hadn't have talked to my boss, if I had ignored Anderson and Donovan, we'd be none the wiser and you wouldn't have..." He gave himself a moment before he continued.
"I'm sorry, alright? If you did what you told John you did then I shouldn't be saying that, but I am..." He let out a breath. "I still want to believe in you, alright? As stupid as it may be, I thought you were a great man. I wanted to be your ally." Greg held his arms at his sides. "I'm just sorry that I can't anymore." He took a long pause. He hadn't given a eulogy before, and he had the feeling he wasn't doing it right. "I still think you cared, about me, and John, and Mrs. Hudson. But after what you did, I guess I just can't imagine how. Why would you kill yourself if you cared about us?"
Besides a bird in a nearby tree, there was no sound. Greg Lestrade pulled the sunglasses out of his pocket and placed them back over his eyes. "I hope I can come to understand, someday." Come to understand what? He thought. What he said he did? Does that mean accepting it as truth, or coming to terms with a lie? It couldn't have been just a lie, but... could it have been the truth? His thoughts were swimming once again. Who knows where he'd be in a few months. Who knows what he'd believe.Greg turned around, then stopped himself. He couldn't just end it there. There must be something else to say. He thought. He turned to the grave, cleaning off the last tears off his cheek, and said his final farewell.
"Rest in peace, Sherlock Holmes."
*In the unaired pilot, we see Greg rip a page out of his notebook with Sherlock's deductions about the shooter, and after seeing John then, many fans think Lestrade figured out that it was John, but kept quiet for Sherlock. I'm one of them, so I'm rolling with that here.
Thanks so much for reading!