Author's note: I've been asked to write a suicidal!John fic that explores his love-hate relationship with Mycroft after the Reichenbach Fall. For Diane, with love always. Special hugs to Redhead1215.
Ella was almost grateful for the rain that lashed against her office windows. Otherwise her voice would have been the only sound so far during the session with Captain John Watson.
She had read the tabloids, and wasn't surprised to see John back. He'd been the best friend, confidante, and some would say substitute heart of Sherlock Holmes for eighteen months. But now Sherlock was dead, and John was nothing. Or so he apparently believed.
He gazed at her while she spoke, the occasional nod or shake of his head the only indication that he was listening. Finally she laid her pen and notepad aside and leaned forward, elbows balanced on her knees.
"John, you need to say it. I know you don't want to, but please try."
John smiled weakly. One of Ella's former patients had smiled that way too- hours before he ate his own gun. She was on the verge of asking him outright if he was harbouring suicidal thoughts when he cleared his throat and spoke.
"My best friend, Sherlock Holmes, is dead. And I wish I were too."
"Are you thinking about suicide, John?"
"Why? What's changed?" she pressed gently.
"I just… don't think about it anymore. Simple as that."
Ella was worried. He hadn't made any admissions that would justify calling the police, but something was wrong. She'd seen John frustrated before. She'd seen him angry. But she'd never seen him so resigned.
Glancing at the clock, she realized that their time was up; the voice of her next client could be heard in the outer office, talking to her receptionist. But she was honestly afraid to let John leave.
"Have you booked another appointment?"
"No." John stood and zipped up his coat. "But I can."
"I'd like to see you tomorrow. Speak to Sally about scheduling you."
Ella stood too. "John… please take care of yourself."
The weak –no, sad- smile reappeared. "You too."
Then he was gone.
Ella's next client came in as he was leaving, preventing her from immediately confirming that he had indeed made an appointment. But when she saw him walking across the parking lot a moment later, shoulders hunched against the downpour, she knew he hadn't.
Excusing herself to the client on the pretext of going to the loo, Ella left the room and dialed the number she'd come to think of as the "John Watson 999". She'd never had to call it before, but instinct whispered that now was the time.
When the soft male voice answered with, "Yes, Doctor?" Ella voiced her fears.
"John has just left my office. I'm afraid that he's going to kill himself."
The cultured voice paused. Then: "Thank you for telling me. I'll see it that he doesn't."
Ella hung up, sure that she had saved John Watson's life.
John took a cab to Bart's, staring at London through the rainy haze. He'd always said he'd never understand Sherlock's perpetual detachment, but now he did. At one time he'd have felt mild sympathy for the blonde whose hairdo was wrecked seconds after leaving the pricey salon, or the people who ran madly along the pavement with only a newspaper or purse to protect them from the storm. Now he only felt apathy tinged with contempt.
She's only getting wet. She'll dry off. I'll never get Sherlock back.
So I'm going to join him.
Reaching that decision had been a relief. No more solitude, no more pain, no more Mycroft checking on him. The latter had been especially hard to deal with, as John considered Mycroft's indiscretion with Moriarty to be a prime factor in his brother's suicide. Whenever the elder Holmes dropped in unexpectedly for tea or pulled up next to him in the street, John fought an impulse to break his nose. He didn't believe for a minute that Mycroft really cared; the 'British government' was merely assuaging his own feelings of guilt.
Imagining Mycroft's future reaction to his final act of defiance, John smiled for the first time since Sherlock died.
Fooled you, you pompous prick!
He had the necessary pills in his pocket. He was going to go up on the Pathology Building roof, sit on the very ledge where Sherlock had bid him goodbye via mobile, and take them. It wouldn't take long: fifteen minutes for the anti-nauseant to kick in and prevent his stomach from rebelling, then twenty at the most for the barbiturates to work. Then he'd see his best friend again.
Mrs. Hudson would be devastated, John knew. But she'd also understand. She was not a selfish woman: she'd seen the shell he'd become over the past few weeks, since the funeral. The untouched tea trays and hours of depressed silence reassured John that she would not be surprised, at least. Before leaving for his appointment with Ella, he'd written Mrs. Hudson a letter- the first time he used paper and ink to send a message since signing up for his first e-mail account years ago- thanking her for everything, and left it on the kitchen table at 221b. She deserved that much.
John instructed the cabbie to let him off in the parking lot adjacent to the building. The rain had tapered off, and now the night chill was setting in. John ignored it as he threaded through the ocean of parked cars. His face was pointed skyward, his eyes only seeing his final destination.
When men quietly emerged from a black Toyota he had just passed, he didn't notice. It wasn't until strong arms wrapped around his waist, pinning his elbows to his sides, that he knew his plans were being thwarted.
John twisted fiercely and tried to yell, but a large hand gripped his hair, holding his head steady as a soft, damp cloth was pressed down over his nose and mouth. Heady fumes shot up his nostrils, making him choke and his legs buckle. The last thing he remembered before descending into darkness was a familiar yet hated voice saying, "I can't let you do this, John. Forgive me."